Macalester College is committed to providing inclusive environments, including dietary access.  Disability Services staff works closely with Cafe Mac/Bon Appetite as part of this process; accommodations are intended to ensure that students with food-related disabilities have equal access to appropriate food options and remain on the food plan as much as possible.  All students are welcome to inquire about/meet with Cafe Mac staff on food options that may be already available for dietary restrictions. 

This accommodation process is intended for students who have medical and food allergy needs.  Modifications for food preferences (e.g. vegetarian diets), religious accommodations or financial considerations should work with Residential Life.   

We ask that students who need accommodations make the request as much as possible within the timelines for housing accommodations. Coordinating food accommodations can be time intensive; requests once the semester has started may be difficult to coordinate:

  • Fall Semester/Full Year:   March 15  (returning students)  or  June 15 (new students)
  • Spring Semester:  October 15

Meal Plan Reductions/Waivers:

If a student cannot obtain reasonable or safe accommodations because of substantial limitations due to food allergies, a process to request a waiver or modification to the meal plan may be considered.   

Full waivers of meal plans or requests to live off campus (for the first two years) are not commonly granted.  Students will be asked to consider all on-campus/meal plan options primarily. 

Retroactive refunds for modifications/waivers cannot be provided. 

To request food specific accommodations, students are asked to:

AIM Student Confidential Database New Student Application

  • Documentation: as part of the interactive process, you may be asked to provide specific documentation about a food allergy or medical condition that requires food accommodations. 

Next Steps: 

  • Disability Services staff will review and approve a Food Accommodation Plan, which will be shared with the General Manager of campus dining. This will include a students photo and food accommodations.
  • Students are welcome and encouraged to work with Bon Appetite dietary consultant/Dietician.
  • To refine current food accommodation plan, contact Disability Services. 
  • Please note: Disability Services does not provide refrigerators, microwaves or individual cooking items.

Need Immediate Help? 

Students can contact a Dining Services manager for immediate dining assistance, or ask food service staff for specific needs.  Please simply ask for the manager on site during Cafe Mac hours. 

Resources: 

Food Allergy Advisory Group:  In 2021, Disability Services developed a food allergy advisory group as a collaborative space where best practices in food accommodations in higher education are explored. The group works closely with Cafe Mac and other campus partners to identify opportunities to identify barriers and develop ongoing goals.  

Students who have additional questions should contact  disabilityservices@macalester.edu directly.