Provender is food that might not be fancy but it keeps you from going hungry, like the long-time provender of college students: rice, pasta, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the occasional discount pizza.
The noun provender comes from the Latin word praebenda, meaning "things to be furnished or provided." Provender is a supply of food meant to sustain people, like a hearty stew that is lunch for military troops who need to keep their energy up. Provender can also describe a food supply for animals such as cows or horses. No matter who or what the provender feeds, the point is, it provides nutrition.