Providing affordable student housing since 1932

Food Stewards [FS]

Student Buyers Association (SBA)

SBA’s Contact Info

For administrative emails:
For ordering food:
Phone: 734-662-0257
Fax: 886-823-0224

SBA is a member owned cooperative – Judy is here for you. Never worry about asking her questions.

Remember to include the SBA handling charge and sales tax on your budget tracking. They charge 5% for all transactions that are run through SBA, to cover their overhead. They do return profit back to their member owners at the end of the year, as well. The State of Michigan charges 6% sales tax on all items that are not services or food for human consumption – prepared food is taxable as well.

SBA Locker

You should have a login and password for the SBA locker that holds your previous invoice/purchase information. This site will help you view how your house’s purchasing has been done in the past as well as help you see what you have ordered recently. It may take some time for invoices to be uploaded onto the site.

How Do I Order

You can order directly through the vendor if you prefer, but we strongly suggest you order through SBA, especially in the beginning. That way they can help you to spot when items would be less expensive elsewhere, as well as sales, and tips or suggestions.

When placing orders, be sure to include your contact info, the vendor you wish to order from and the day you would like it delivered. If you can provide item codes and extended descriptions, that would be great – but don’t stress over it.

Work with your Work Manager and Kitchen Manager. By combining orders for food with supplies and equipment, you can build larger orders and save money by having more purchasing options.

Call in damaged, missing, or incorrect products to SBA right away. Most vendors have a time limit on how long they will accept returns/credits.

Get Menus well in advance. This will allow you to know what you need for the upcoming weeks and by doing so, allow you to split your orders most effectively, to both access savings by buying in bulk, and lessening the time you have to devote to the job as food steward.

Keep a list or spreadsheet of staple items your house uses, and keep inventory of those items. This will decrease duplicate purchases and help keep your house from running short and having to make emergency runs to the store.

Utilize the standing order option. By placing orders that will come regularly without your having to call them in, you save time and never have to worry about missing a deadline. You can always adjust your orders as needed.

Be sure vendors have access to make deliveries on the days you schedule deliveries. If you can’t be sure someone will be home, please provide SBA with your door code, phone number or some form of access for the delivery. This also means having driveways clear of cars and/or snow.

How Much Do I Order

Your budget and population will dictate the amount you order as well as the minimum orders the vendors require for delivery.

Reviewing past orders and comparing the population of the house now with the population at the time of the historical info will also help. Another popular method of determining quantity is to vote as a house on staple ingredients and resolve that the cooks are to create meals from the list.

Remember to include the SBA handling charge and sales tax on your budget tracking. They charge 5% for all transactions that are run through SBA, to cover their overhead. They do return profit back to our member owners at the end of the year as well. The State of Michigan charges 6% sales tax on all items that are not services or food for human consumption – prepared food is taxable as well.

How To Read an SBA Invoice

Ordering Schedule

Order Splitting

Work with other houses to “go in” on orders together. This can help your house gain greater variety by allowing you to order split cases of several items instead of one case of a single item for the same purchasing dollar. Splitting orders also helps smaller houses access foods in bulk that they couldn’t get on their own.

SBA will handle the bookkeeping as long as one of the groups involved sends them the invoice with the breakdown details.


There is a Slack workspace for Food Stewards to communicate and coordinate food order splitting – You login with your account.

Standing Orders

A standing order is an order for on-going food delivery – weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. Once a standing order is placed, it will be delivered automatically on the pre-arranged days and in the set quantities unless the house contacts SBA and changes the order.

Each house must place and control their own standing orders for dairy, bread, bagels, and coffee directly with a vendor approved by SBA.


Every house has their own food culture, so ordering food will be a different experience for each house. You can be told what the culture is by your house or determine the choices through food surveys.

Judy will provide you with listings of as much of your purchasing history as she is able to. You can use that information and the product listings she will also provide as a reference in combination with the ideology that your house decides upon for this semester. The main thing to remember is – just ask. If you are looking for a certain product or kind of product, Judy is always happy to help.

SBA can assist you with your username and password. Make sure to use SBA’s account info instead of creating your own new account, otherwise you will not get the benefits of reduced prices and having your receipts sent to the SBA locker.

Argus Farm Stop

Catalog: (updated every Monday)


Place orders online and pick up at Argus Packard.

When you shop at Argus, you are buying directly from the farms and producers. Their farmers own and price their goods. They receive 75% of that selling price. This is a significantly better margin than they can achieve in any other retail setting. The latest USDA study shows that farms on average only receive 15% of the selling price from traditional stores.

Calder Dairy


Calder Dairy is a local farm that offers home delivery of grass fed cow’s milk, butter, and vegetarian-fed eggs, as well as local bread and other products.


  • Utilize the standing order option.
  • Don’t forget to leave your glass bottles in front of your house the night before delivery so that Calder can pick them up. If you forget you may receive a charge for the bottles.



SBA can help you with questions and issues about your Costco card and membership.

Every time you elect a new Food Steward you have to email SBA to let them know. Judy will issue you a new Costco card with your new Food Steward’s name on it. Only the new/current Food Steward can use that card.

Jim Dolgos can put together a pickup order from Costco with at least 24 hrs notice and a pickup window. His email is

Equal Exchange


Price List

Frog Holler

Please note that this pricelist Judy sends out does not reflect the 6.5% discount SBA has negotiated for their members (us!), and that the discount is not reflected on the delivery receipts. The discount is manually entered by SBA at billing time.

Frog Holler Conventional

Only items with pricing in the “break outs” column can be ordered in less than case quantity.

Frog Holler Organic

Cases must be ordered in full case quantities, no split cases allowed.

Gordon Food Service

SBA login:

Cleaning supplies

Michigan Green Safe


Price List


Rosewood is a local tofu maker that also distributes dairy products, vegetarian products, and food staples.

Rosewood will also go to Costco for SBA Members for a 15% pickup and delivery fee.  For Costco orders from Rosewood, please order Wednesday for Friday delivery and Monday for Wednesday delivery.

Simon Leeman

SBA login:

You can order produce from Simon Leeman. They pride themselves on carrying as many local products as they are able to.

United Natural Foods (UNFI)

The minimum for delivery for UNFI is $150 but you may combine your UNFI orders and Frog Holler Conventional/Organic to meet the minimum, but they must be delivered at the same time. UNFI and Frog Holler Organic produce have different deadlines than Frog Holler Conventional produce.



Careful budgeting is one of the simplest ways to facilitate successful food and kitchen management. It involves two elements:

  1. Formulating the budget
    1. The food steward and the house treasurer usually work out a food budget together. They ought to confer first with their house members to find out how much meat or other costly foods the members want to eat and what sorts of guff food the house wants. Here is a Sample survey. The budget is based on how many members there are and how much the house expects to spend per member.
    2. Refer to the budget of the previous term, but don’t forget to confer with SBA to find out about significant changes in food costs and inflation. Try to find out, also, how successful the previous food budget was. Did the house get charged an assessment for overspending on food? Was the food of decent quality? Include a 2% safety factor over what you expect to spend because it’s better to over budget than to under budget. Remember that if you spend less than you budget, house members will get a rebate; if you spend more, house members will get an assessment.
  2. Staying within budget
    1. The easiest way to know whether you are staying within budget is to divide the semester’s food budget into weekly allotments. If you know exactly how much you are allowed to spend per week, you will have no problem staying within budget.
    2. Keep track of how much money you spend on different food categories to help you predict what you will spend on them in the future. Keep track of how much money you have spent over-all and how much you have left to spend. It is normal to overspend the first month of ordering, so don’t be alarmed if you do.

Example budget spreadsheet

You can access this sheet here. Make a copy of the document and put it in your house’s Google Drive folder, please do not edit the document directly.

Keeping Your Food Costs Down

  1. Keep good inventory
    1. Here’s another sample inventory.
    2. Know what you have in the house before you order. Don’t order something if you have enough to last until the following order.
  2. Order in bulk and crates.
    1. This can tremendously decrease your food costs. If you don’t think you could use a whole crate of onions on your own, try sharing them with another ICC house. And when you buy things in bulk–they cost more up-front but will save money in the longer run.
  3. Preserve your food
    1. Lots of money can be lost through improper handling of food, which then spoils and is thrown out.
    2. Keep your cooks and members informed about proper food handling and about what foods have been ordered for their menus.

Paying and Reconciling

  • The ICC writes the check for SBA purchases
    • There is a slight time lapse because they pay the 15th of each month for previous month
  • The Food Steward and the treasurer will need to RECONCILE your purchases with the SBA bill total
  • Save all receipts – credit card receipts are needed for reconciling the SBA accounts
  • Stay on track with budget
  • Contact Judy with any questions or problems
    • Judy can give you complete detailed information on how to efficiently use SBA vendors

Ordering Guide

Seasonal availability of produce

General ordering tips

If you are a Food Steward this document can be edited by going to the doc and logging in with your (house) email.

What to buy where

If you are a Food Steward this document can be edited by going to the doc and logging in with your (house) email.

Food Steward handbook

New Food Stewards


  • Attend New House Officer’s Training.
  • Introduce yourself to Judy and SBA.
  • If you plan on buying from Costco, email Judy information about whoever will be shopping there so she can issue you a card.
  • Get ownership over your cards. You can get these from the previous Food Steward or your House President/Treasurer.
  • Send out a food preferences survey to your house if you’d like more info on what your house would like to see purchased.