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Chartwells Stepping Up to Accommodate Dietary Restrictions

Eliana DeGlopper, Features Contributor

Two years ago, if you walked into the Canisius College Dining Hall with a food allergy, you had few options. One was to eat salad or fruit, and the other was to talk to the Chartwells staff and wait for something to be made for you.

Fast forward to 2022, it is a new school year, the first of relative normalcy since the coronavirus pandemic began. It has been a long day. I imagine you have had a few classes; maybe a lab or maybe even a shift at your job. You are simply exhausted and don't want to make dinner. So, as does every other student with a meal plan, you head to the dining hall.

Now, what you are greeted with is a fully vegan and gluten-free section, complete with already-cooked gluten-free pasta and vegan options and an assortment of separately packaged gluten-free bagels, bread and rolls. There is an entire section dedicated to gluten-free appliances, including a toaster, microwave and mini-fridge.

Next, imagine you just woke up, you are headed to an exam and you have just enough time to stop at the dining hall. Instead of having to stick with fruit or eggs, you now have the option to make toast with gluten free bread, or even to have gluten-free waffles at times. A luxury you never knew existed.

Maybe there is a fancy event and Chartwells is catering dessert. Low and behold at the end of the buffet table, gluten-free brownies and even some vegan cookies. This levels the playing field.

Just as in prior years, you can meet with the managers at certain locations across campus. Tyree, Mike, Andrea and all of the Chartwells dining hall staff can accommodate dietary restrictions, and if your restriction does not fall in the vegan or gluten-free category, you can speak with them to create meals that work for your diet.

At The Market, nestled beneath Old Main, Judy continues to be a valuable resource to students who wish to grab a delicious gluten-free sandwich! They also have a dedicated gluten-free and vegan sections of snacks and microwave dinners. Simply speak with the staff to help them accommodate you!

At the Science Hall cafe, Kim oversees a menu that offers gluten free and dairy free options. For drinks, one can have almond, soy or oat milk. Last year when they served food, they even offered gluten-free bread for panini sandwiches.

At Shoppe 120, located beneath Palisano across from Fusion Gaming, Mr. Frostee has brought a dairy-free option into the mix, helping many students who are lactose intolerant enjoy a sweet treat!

Although more options could be made available in places such as The Pick-Up Spot, the campus overall has improved significantly to accommodate the needs of the student population.

Overall, the dietary situation has improved exponentially the past two years, from the time my initial article hit the print. As a senior this year, I am delighted to know the rising upperclassmen will have a plethora of options to level the playing field surrounding food because accessibility, of course, goes beyond just the classroom.

Thank you for stepping up, Griffs. Our tummies thank you.

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