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Meal Plan Medical Accommodation/Exemption

General Information

All students living on-campus in locations other than the apartments and townhouses are required to purchase the meal plan. Occasionally, students have special dietary needs and require an accommodation to the meal plan in the form of a special diet. Many times these needs can be accommodated by Western New England University’s Dining Services. In the rare instance that Dining Services is unable to provide a medically necessary dietary accommodation, the student may be granted an exemption and released from the meal plan.

Meal Plan accommodation

If you require a special diet, or feel you need a minor modification to the meal plan, many times these requests can be handled by meeting with a staff member from the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS), the Director of Dining Services and/or a member of his/her staff. SDS will need information from your health care provider in order to help best serve your needs. Please call Dining Services at 413-782-1228 for more information on available options.

Meal Plan exemptions

The meal plan is required of on-campus residents until they reside in an apartment or townhouse. This expectation is grounded in principle. A major feature of living at a residential college is the opportunity for developing a sense of community that arises in this setting and shared time over meals enhances this. Exemptions from the meal plan are rare. They are made solely for documented health conditions that require special diets which are medically necessary and cannot be accommodated by Western New England University’s Dining Services. In the rare instance that Dining Services is unable to provide a necessary medical dietary accommodation, the student may be released from the meal plan.

If you require a dietary accommodation from Dining Services or you would like to petition for an exemption from the Meal Plan, you are to:

  • complete the information on the Meal Plan Medical Accommodation/Exemption Request Form (which can be found in the Registration section),
  • obtain documentation in accordance with Western New England University’s documentation guidelines from your health care provider, and
  • send documentation and the completed Meal Plan Medical Accommodation/Exemption Request Form to Student Disability Services.

Upon receipt of the above noted documents, all requests will be evaluated thoroughly.

As noted in the University’s guidelines, documentation must come from a physician who specializes in the field consistent with the diagnosis. For instance, the University will not accept documentation from a psychiatrist for a diagnosis of a gastrointestinal disorder. To avoid any conflict of interest, documentation must be provided by non-family health care providers.

All requests for accommodation to Western New England University Meal Plan policies are to be made through the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS). Return completed Meal Plan Medical Accommodation/Exemption Request Form to: Student Disability Services, Western New England University, 1215 Wilbraham Rd., Springfield, MA 01119 This information may be faxed to us at 413-782-1575.

For additional information or assistance, please contact us at 413-782-1258.

Food Allergies Accommodation Issues
This article from Salome Heyward & Associates (and their website: www.disabilitydirectresponse.com) contains useful information regarding accommodations to food services for students at postsecondary institutions.