Food Allergy and Celiac College Student Survey submitted April 2021
Describe your food restrictions by checking all relevant boxes
Grade your college on feeding students with your food restrictions
Explain your rationale for that grade
Although they have a separate area in one of their kitchens for gluten free food, they said that they could not confirm that there would not be any cross contamination. The head chef told me that he could get me prepackaged meals instead. This ended up falling though. The school did give me access to a communal kitchen, but with no car it was hard to get groceries for the kitchen. I then had to take it up with accessibility services and the dean of students for them to finally let me have a car on campus.
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 need to avoid all gluten and gluten cross contamination. I take celiac seriously and rarely eat out, only if it is dedicated gluten free. If exposed, I will have GI symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea. Also things such as brain fog, headaches, fatigue, etc.
If you indicated that you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, how sensitive are you to gluten?
Extremely: React to even small traces
Does your college handle food restrictions as you expected they would when you selected your school?
Not at all what I expected
Check all boxes that apply to your college experience
My school has only a few dining halls, I cannot eat safely at any dining halls, I do not have sufficient options at any dining halls, I asked alot of questions before I came but the reality was different
Have you had a reaction from eating in your dining hall?
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 got a reduced meal plan my freshman year, but then never ate from the kitchen after I was told it was not fully safe.
Did you register your food restrictions with your students disabilities office for accommodations? If yes, describe.
Yes. I had special access to the communal kitchen (because it was closed due to COVID) and later on I got my car on campus for groceries.
Are there resources (nutritionists, chefs, peer support groups) to help ensure you are receiving safe nutritious food? If yes, describe.
Not sure. I never met with anyone
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 make them take my problems more seriously. I would also have safer gluten free options.
Describe your biggest challenge with managing your food restrictions at college and how you deal with it
I moved off campus so I could have my own kitchen.
Did your food restrictions impact your housing decision? How? Is there a certain dorm you recommend for those with food restrictions? Why?
Yes, they gave me Westside because it had a communal kitchen. However, after the first semester I moved off campus.
What's your advice for managing the dining halls with your food restrictions? Favorite dining hall(s)? Any dining halls to avoid?
Ask questions, maybe you will be luckier than I was!
What's your advice for eating in the dorm with your food restrictions? Favorite snacks? Places that deliver?
Target delivers groceries which is helpful! The campus store also has GF snacks and a couple safe frozen meals.
What do you recommend new students with food restrictions do before school starts? Or when they first arrive?
get to asking questions right away and if they give you a hard time DO NOT GIVE UP! If someone says no to your health needs, go to the person above their heads. Go the president if you need to.
What's your advice on managing the party scene with your food restrictions?
Bring your own food! And for alcohol, unopened seltzer, like white claws, or trulys are a go to.
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?
I never went out to eat because of COVID, but I think there are some places (maybe 20 min drive) that are dedicated GF. The find me GF app had some options I remember
Anything else you would like to add?
Good luck !