WASHINGTON — An estimated 1 percent of Americans suffer from celiac disease, but that’s enough for Kent State University to figure it needs a 100 percent gluten-free dining hall for its students.
Gaithersburg, Maryland-based food service provider Sodexo says it is the first certified gluten-free dining hall on a college campus. Sodexo designed the dining hall and will manage its operations. It will serve about 800 students a day.
Kent State administrators say they have noticed an increase in the number of students arriving on campus with gluten intolerance, which is why KSU moved to restructure the Prentice Cafe.
KSU says while some college campuses offer gluten-free stations in their dining halls, it is the first campus to offer an entire dining hall that is certified gluten-free, a designation it earned from the nonprofit Gluten Intolerance Group.
The dining hall opened Aug. 29, the first day of Kent State’s fall semester.
Its menus also feature several vegan and vegetarian choices.