Your Meal Card is Your McGill ID Card
The Mandatory Meal Plan is a declining balance meal plan. Just like a debit account, funds are put into a meal plan "account" and deducted when you make food purchases. In this case, your McGill Student ID Card is encoded with your meal plan information and acts as your debit card.
This means that there are no pre-set number of meals alloted to each student. Instead, every food item has an individual price, and the items that you choose are totaled at the cash register and deducted from your balance. Translation? If you choose to eat an apple instead of a full meal, all you pay for is the apple.
It's important that you bring your McGill ID card with you if you're planning to make food purchases on your meal plan. If you don't have your McGill ID card, or if it's demagnetized or damaged, you will be asked to pay cash.