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Colleges Obligated To Offer Equitable Meal Plan

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you have a food allergy, what does your college have to do for you? Maybe more than you think.

John Belushi’s character on Animal House started a food fight by stuffing as much food into his mouth and then – pretending to be a zit – spit it out. That wasn’t how the food fight started at Lesley University in 2009; quite the opposite. It was started in court, not the lunch room, because students couldn’t stuff their faces. The school didn’t have a meal plan that provided food for those with peanut, gluten, or other food allergies.

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that people with a serious health condition that limits one or more life functions be granted access to public accommodations. But the students argued that because the university didn’t offer food they could safely eat, it was effectively limiting their access to participate in the university community.

They just won their food fight when the school agreed to pay them $50,000 and to create meal plans for those with food allergies. Talk about being on a roll.

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