Dining Resources

Respectfully Sharing Space

In an effort to keep all diners healthy and safe, and to respectfully share our space:

  • Wash your hands before collecting food.
  • Do not let utensils touch food on your plate.
  • If you choose to eat gluten-free, halal, or vegan foods, collect food from the gluten-free, halal, and vegan venues respectively, then pick up food from other venues of choice.
  • Take a clean plate when you return for second helpings of food.



During Passover, the Marketplace serves traditional foods (matzo crackers, matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, eggs, horseradish and charoset) and makes adaptations to the menu and some recipes so that there are acceptable choices available for those observing Passover. Meals-to-go acceptable for those observing Passover are made available at Out Takes. Matzo pizza and matzo ball soup are also served at The Spencer Grill during Passover.

Meals for Ill Students

Students who are confined to their room for a medical reason by the health staff may request a meal appropriate for their illness through the Student Health and Wellness. Meals may be picked up and delivered by any student on a meal plan with an approved request and the proper identification.

Dining Service reserves the right to modify the menu when necessary and upon consultation with Student Health and Wellness.

Accessibility Assistance in Dining Services

Dining Services will provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with assistance needs. When special needs of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors are known in advance, we are better able to meet these needs. Individuals needing accommodations other than those listed below should contact the Office of Accessibility and Disability Resources electronically Jae Baldree or call 641-269-3089.

1. Marketplace Assistance

Students with Allergies, Intolerances, and other Dietary Restrictions

The Office of Accessibility and Disability Resources will assist you in determining which dietary accommodations are available to you. When appropriate, they will connect you to Dining Services to implement those accommodations. Contact them electronically by emailing Jae Baldree or by phone at 641-269-3089. New students should initiate this contact prior to arriving on campus for their first semester.

Other Accomodations

Individuals using crutches, a wheelchair or scooter, and/or other mobility needs or visual impairments, should make their request for assistance known to the entry cashier. A staff member will assist the individual in maneuvering through the Marketplace, selecting foods and beverages, and getting seated in one of the dining rooms. When the individual has completed their meal, they are welcome to leave their tray at the table for our staff to take to the tray return area.

Individuals with visual impairments should request assistance from the entry cashier who can read the current or upcoming menus aloud so choices can be made. Staff can also be asked to read the menus aloud for upcoming meals.

Individuals unable to communicate verbally can communicate electronically by emailing access@grinnell.edu in advance and/or by written requests with our staff.

Campus visitors needing accommodations with specific food preparations due to allergies should advise the department on campus sponsoring their visit of their needs, so that appropriate arrangements can be made. If you are visiting campus, with no departmental sponsor, please communicate dining accessibility needs to the Office of Accessibility and Disability Resources electronically by emailing access@grinnell.edu or by phone at 641-269-3089. Please communicate accessibility needs in advance so that the fullest range of accommodations can be available when you arrive.

2. Spencer Grill Assistance

Individuals needing accommodations in the Spencer Grill with ordering can request a staff member read menus and prices aloud. A request for written or electronic communications with the Spencer Grill Staff will also be honored.

Assistance in transferring food from the Spencer Grill service counter to a table can also be requested of a staff member. The staff will pick up the tray/basket when the meal is finished, and our guest has left the Spencer Grill.

Persons unable to communicate verbally can communicate by computer and/or written requests with our staff.

3. Catering Assistance

Individuals needing accommodations when attending a catered function should make their requests known to the sponsoring party, who will then make reasonable accommodations for the individual. Event sponsors who have persons with special needs attending their event should keep in mind that advance notice helps in making appropriate accommodations available.

4. Emergencies

In the case of an emergency evacuation, in all dining venues, individuals should follow the evacuation plan as outlined in their campus Special Assistance Needs and Disability Emergency Building Evacuation Plan. A Dining Services staff member will assist with the evacuation when appropriate.

Grinnell College's policies regarding accessibility and accommodations made for those with disabilities may be found in the Accessibility and Disability Services section.

Local Food Information

Local Food Statement

Grinnell College believes that locally grown food has many advantages. Food that is grown and processed close to where it will be consumed can be fresher, healthier and more flavorful. Purchasing locally grown items supports local businesses and farmers and reduces transportation costs, environmental impact, and the use of preservatives.

In light of these benefits of locally grown foods, Grinnell College will make reasonable efforts to identify and makes purchases of affordably priced local food products that reflect the College's commitment to environmental responsibility. In seeking local food, the College will use a three-tiered definition of local, placing the highest priority on food that comes from Poweshiek County and the surrounding counties(Tama, Benton, Iowa, Keokuk, Mahaska, Marion, Jasper, and Marshall), followed by prioritizing food from the state of Iowa, and then food from the Central Plains region.

For more information, read the Spring 2006 student project, “Local Foods and Grinnell College Dining Services.”

Grinnell College's local foods purchasing was highlighted in Food Service Director Magazine.

Grinnell College Dining Services Local Foods Efforts Recognized

Grinnell College's Dining Services has been recognized for its efforts in local food purchasing and recycling by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. Of the 100 colleges and universities with the largest endowments in the U.S. and Canada, Grinnell College is one of 26 to receive this recognition for its leadership in sustainable campus operations.

Each school was given a “report card.” Grades of A–F were awarded. Grinnell received an “A” in the category of “Food and Recycling.” Not only that, but Grinnell College was highlighted as one of four schools that were "Leading by Example" in the introduction to that section of the report.

The reviewers wrote: “Grinnell College dining services uses local, organic products for most staple ingredients, including organic flour and local milk, eggs, herbs, pork, and some fruits and vegetables. Pre- and post-consumer food waste is composted using a pulping machine and donated to a local farm, diverting approximately seven tons of waste each month.”

Dining Resources at Grinnell

Pioneer One-Card

The Pioneer One-Card, the official Grinnell College identification card, allows you many services around campus, including several in the dining facilities.

Dining Services Committee

The Dining Services Committee includes students, faculty members, and administrators and meets regularly during the academic year.

Auxiliary Services and Economic Development

Dining is one of many service providers under Auxiliary Services and Economic Development.

Dietitian-Recommended Links

These dietitian-recommended links can help you learn more about nutrition:

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