Kent State Opens First Gluten-Free Dining Hall

College cafeteria

As the 2016 academic year commences, Kent State becomes the country’s first university to feature an entirely gluten-free dining hall on campus.

Certified gluten free

The number of gluten-intolerant students arriving on campus continues to grow each year. As a result, the school restructured its Prentice Café to meet the increasing demand for gluten-free foods. It is now the first dining hall in the nation to be certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Food Services Certification Program, a food safety program offered through the Gluten Intolerance Group.

Finding suitable gluten-free food options presents a challenge, especially when dining away from home. Kent State aims to make college life easier for students who need or prefer gluten-free foods. All menu items are gluten free at Prentice Café.

Gluten-free dining for all

While gluten intolerance has garnered lots of attention in recent years, addressing the needs of students who have celiac disease or sensitivity to gluten still presents a challenge. Students often are self-conscious about special dietary needs. They might hesitate to self-identify as gluten intolerant because they don’t want to attract attention. This was something administrators considered when planning the new Prentice Café.

Anyone is welcome to dine at Prentice Café, which accepts meal plans, cash and credit cards. In addition to every item being gluten free, the menu also features a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes, as well as foods that support a healthy lifestyle.

The newly certified gluten-free dining hall opened on Aug. 29 and will host a grand opening on Sept. 7. Open to all students, faculty, staff and other members of the Kent State community, the event will have opportunities to sample items, as well as educational displays and prizes.

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New Gluten-Free College Care Packages

Believe it or not, this week marks the unofficial end of summer. As Labor Day approaches, most college students are heading back to school. Whether you have a nervous freshman or savvy senior, care packages are a traditional way to send some love. And now TetherBox, the “modern twist on the classic college care package,” has added gluten-free and nut-free options to their monthly boxes.

Tetherbox 1“Parents and students alike have been asking us if we could provide nut-free and gluten-free products in our care packages,” says Lynn Holdsworth, co-founder of TetherBox. “When a parent or loved one sends a care package to their favorite college student, they want to know it is something they will enjoy and of course won’t potentially harm them. That’s why we made this enhancement and we are thrilled that we can deliver healthy, delicious nut-free and gluten-free snacks in our care packages to college students who previously did not have this option.”

Tetherbox 2Available in various subscription plans, TetherBox college care packages include between five and seven meticulously selected all-natural snacks, personal care items, useful gadgets and fun surprises.

According to the company’s website, knowing what’s in the box ahead of time would ruin the fun so you won’t know what your student is going to receive each month. Working with brand partners and a network of student ambassadors from across the U.S., TetherBox includes hidden treasures and new-to-market products aimed at exciting each recipient. And there is a bonus to you not knowing what the care package contains—your student will be excited to call (or, OK, email) to fill you in on the goodies!