Grade your college on feeding students with your food restrictions
Explain your rationale for that grade
There is at least one option for me at every meal however the options sometimes aren’t the best and become repetitive
What stage are you in college?
How many years ago were you diagnosed with food allergies or celiac disease?
Please use this space to provide details that would help us better understand your food restrictions. Include your reaction if exposed to the foods you are avoiding. Please mention if you carry an epi-pen.
I carry an Epi-pen everywhere I go as all of my allergies are anaphylactic. When ingested my throat will become “scratchy” and occasionally my breathing will become more difficult
Does your college handle food restrictions as you expected they would when you selected your school?
Mostly what I expected
Check all boxes that apply to your college experience
My school has only a few dining halls, Ability to feed me varies significantly across dining halls, I have at least one safe dining hall, but avoid some dining halls, I have sufficient options at some of the dining halls, Ability to eat well was a small part of my college selection process
Have you had a reaction from eating in your dining hall?
Describe each incident. How did your school respond?
The reaction was minor as I was able to take Benadryl and monitor myself rather than having to need the epipen and the emergency room. I reached out to the chef after the fact and he immediately wanted to meet with me to figure out what had happened and get it all sorted out.
Please describe your meal plan for each year there so far. Include if your school required any of these decisions. If you are eating in a greek house or other club type arrangement include that as well.
I have had the unlimited plan both years and it was required the first year but not this year
Did you register your food restrictions with your student disabilities office for accommodations? If yes, describe.
No we tried first semester but they took longer than expected for them to get back to me and by then I had figured out how I was going to eat and it didn’t feel necessary. We’ve since wanted to register but keep missing the arbitrary deadlines
Are there resources (nutritionists, chefs, peer support groups) to help ensure you are receiving safe nutritious food? If yes, describe.
Yes I have multiple contacts in the kitchen including the head chef and another chef
If you were in charge of your school's dining, what changes would you implement to better feed students with your food restrictions? Would your school be open to these suggestions?
I would add more “comfort food” options into the rotation of meals provided for food restrictions
Describe your biggest challenge with managing your food restrictions at college and how you deal with it
Biggest challenge has been socially having people (no longer friends) not want to come to the dining hall with me because they didn’t like the dining hall food and caused me to sit alone in the dining hall for most of my freshman year.
Did your food restrictions impact your housing decision? How? Is there a certain dorm you recommend for those with food restrictions? Why?
No however the on-campus house I am currently in does have a kitchen allowing me to have more options than just the dining hall
What's your advice for managing the dining halls with your food restrictions? Favorite dining hall(s)? Any dining halls to avoid?
Establish a relationship with the staff in the dining hall. Only dining hall on campus is Saga. The cellar pub and Au Bon Pain have very limited options for restrictions that I am now trying to explore a bit further.
What's your advice for eating in the dorm with your food restrictions? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver?
Always have a can of soup or some microwaveable dish in your room (if a microwave is available) for when you don’t feel like leaving your room either because you’re not feeling well or the weather is bad. Belvita bars and 88 acres seed bars were a go to for food before classes. Good Karma yogurt was also a heathy treat when I could get it at the local Wegmans or bring it up from home but has since become scarce in both regions
What do you recommend new students with food restrictions do before school starts? Or when they first arrive?
Talk with the kitchen staff and establish that connection and locate where the nearest food shops are to campus so that you can get food when needed. I would also look into renting a microfridge (one with microwave) for the dorm if a regular microwave isn’t allowed.
What's your advice on managing the party scene with your food restrictions?
I don’t typically go to many parties but when I do go out I resolve to not eat or drink anything that is provided unless there is a label and it hasn’t been opened by anyone else. But otherwise from what I’ve seen there isn’t much provided so it’s mostly focused on dancing, meeting people, and having a good time with friends
Grade your college town area for feeding people with your food restrictions
Explain your grade. What are your favorite places to eat in town or foodshop?
For a small downtown there are quite a few places that have been very accommodating. My favorite places out to eat are Eddie O’Briens, Beef and Brew, and Char Burrito
Anything else you would like to add?
My advice is both for college in general and managing your restrictions is to prepare for the worst but hope for the best. A lot of things will get thrown at you your first year of college that are completely out of your control and while it’d be great if everything went your way, it’s not guaranteed so have a backup plan or two so that it’s not the end of the world if things don’t go to plan