Abby Kaiser

Comfort food should be a mainstay at the Grundle

February 18, 2022

Nightly pizza and pasta at Harris Millis Dining Hall have always been a staple for my on-campus dinners.

However, since the Grundle no longer regularly serves comfort food items, it’s hard to find dining hall food I can eat.

All dining halls need nightly comfort food for people like me who are restricted by disordered or picky eating and severe food allergies.

As a resident of Trinity campus, trekking across campus for food has become a part of my routine due to the lack of options at Northside Dining.

As long as the Grundle had pizza and pasta, I always knew I had a safe option I could rely on.

MyZone, an option located in all residential dining halls, should help my severe food allergies as it provides a separate food station for those allergic to gluten, peanuts and tree nuts, according to UVM Dining’s website.

Since coming back this semester, I’ve noticed UVM Dining has removed the MyZone options from every dining hall’s daily menu, even though it still lists it as an option under each dining hall’s description, according to UVM Dining’s website.

“Due to the current disruptions in the supply chain we are experiencing frequent menu changes and substitutions for ingredients that may cause changes to the allergens in some of your favorite menu items,” an Aug. 19, 2021 UVM Dining notice stated.

This makes UVM’s dining halls inaccessible for many students.

“Every time the numbers in the U.S. go up due to COVID-19, it has a ripple effect on people staying home, a run on supply and then worker shortages,” UVM Dining Director Melissa Zelazny said.

Although this may not be UVM Dining’s fault, this makes eating in dining halls incredibly difficult.

A petition created by Flynn O. has recently spread around social media titled “Bring Back Grundle Pasta.”

“For the health of student minds, bodies, colons and community, we humbly ask the University of Vermont and Sodexo Dining to return pasta, pizza and most importantly, garlic bread to the Grundle,” the petition’s description stated.

The petition has 120 signatures, as of Feb. 13.

Some students feel UVM Dining food leads to disordered eating for students due to its lack of quality and options, according to a Dec. 2, 2021 Cynic article.

I fell into this trap last semester after coming to UVM, struggling with where to get my next decent meal.

As I try to improve this semester, I face the extra obstacle of my safe foods being gone on most nights.

I often face severe anxiety about going to the dining halls, wondering whether or not there will be an option for me.

I am paying $2,284 per semester for my dining hall plan, according to UVM Dining’s website. I should not find it difficult to find a decent meal free of allergens and anxiety.

The only time I was able to get pizza, pasta and garlic bread this semester was Feb. 7.

The hour-long line winding up two flights of stairs was worth getting garlic bread.

UVM Dining should bring back Grundle comfort food, for the sake of students with food allergies and disordered eating, or for those who simply miss their Grundle garlic bread.

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