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Advocating for inclusive, safe dining for college students with food restrictions
GFF College Dining Survey Responses
Jan 13, 2020
Survey 1 of 7
Recent College Graduate
Egg Allergy, Fish Allergy, Peanut Allergy, Shellfish Allergy, Sesame Allergy, Soy Allergy, Tree Nut Allergy, Other (describe below)
Student's Summary Assessment:
Rationale for Grades Given
Overall, my school was super accommodating, although there were a few roadblocks that I had to overcome at various points.
Ithaca is a pretty great place for eating out with allergies! I never had a bad reaction from any restaurants. I love Ciao, Souvlaki House, and Just a Taste!
Details About this Student's Food Restrictions
How many years ago were you diagnosed with food allergies or celiac disease?
If you indicated celiac or gluten intolerance, how sensitive are you to gluten?
Add details to help us better understand your food restrictions (e.g. sensitivity level, potential reaction, need for EPI pen)
I have a large number of food allergies, and the severity of my reaction varies based on the allergen. I do carry an epi-pen at all times.
Details About this Student's College Dining Experience
Does your college handle food restrictions as you expected when you decided to attend?
Totally yes, was what I expected
Have you had a reation from eating in your dining hall?
If Yes, describe each incident and how your school responded
I had one reaction during my sophomore year due to an unexpected allergen. I had several meetings with the dining department and chefs after this incident to determine how this had happened and to adjust my plan for eating safely in the dining halls from that point on.
Did you register your food restriction with the disabilities office? If yes, describe
Yes, I had a meeting to register for accommodations, which put me in touch with dining department.
Are there resources to help with nutritious, safe dining (e.g. dietician)? If yes, describe
I met with the dining department nutritionist frequently throughout my time there which was absolutely critical. Because of my numerous allergies, she helped coordinate for meals to be made specifically for me in certain dining halls, and ensured that all of the chefs knew exactly what my allergies were and what they should be making me.
If you were in charge of dining, what would you change? Would your school be open to suggestions?
I think my school was very receptive to any suggestions I had throughout my time there.
Describe your biggest challenge managing your food restrictions at college and how you deal with it
I think my biggest challenge was just the timing of everything - because I was having separate meals made, sometimes I would have to wait for my meals to be made or go to dinner at specific times without my friends. I was able to adjust this as time went on though.
Advice for Incoming Students:
Did your food restrictions impact your housing decisions? Any dorm recommendations
Any advice for managing dining halls? Favorite dining halls? Any to avoid?
I ate mostly at Appel freshman year because it was smaller and more manageable. I think the most important thing was building relationships with the chefs so that we had open communication about what my needs were and what was safe for me.
Describe your meal plans over the year(s). What's mandatory? Any suggestions?
Freshman year I had 10 meals/week and 500 "BRBs." Sophomore year I was required to have a full meal plan based on my housing situation. At first, I was under-utilizing these, but worked out a plan so that it would be worth it. Junior and senior year, I lived off campus and was not on meal plan at all.
Any advice for eating in the dorms? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver?
No particular advice, although having a microwave was very helpful.
What should students do before school starts or when they first arrive?
Definitely meet with the nutritionist. She's extremely knowledgeable about all of the dining menus and what ingredients are commonly used in different dishes.
Advice on managing parties or dinners out with friends?
No particular advice.
Any other advice or comments?
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