Hosting Hackers with Dietary Restrictions

Some of your hackers may have dietary restrictions that will require you to provide special accommodations. Make sure you ask anyone receiving a meal (hackers, mentors, volunteers) about their dietary restrictions before the event, so you can prepare meals with your food vendors accordingly.

Types of Dietary Restrictions

  • Vegetarian - No meat, and sometimes other animal products.

  • Vegan - No food derived from animals.

  • Celiac Disease - No gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley).

  • Allergies - Common allergies that you may run into include: Lactose and peanut allergies.

  • Kosher - The Hebrew word “kosher” means fit or proper as it relates to Jewish dietary law.

  • Halal - Foods that are allowed to be consumed under Islamic dietary guidelines.

Ordering Meals

Once you have a list of the individuals at your event with dietary restrictions you’ll need to accommodate at your event, you can either:

  1. Request one-off meals from your existing food vendors to accommodate the dietary restriction. For example, you may need to ask your food vendor to provide 3 kosher pre-packed meals.

  2. If your food vendor can not accommodate a particular dietary restriction, we recommend providing any hackers affected with a gift card to purchase food from an external food vendor. For example, if your food vendor can’t provide one of your hackers with a kosher meal then you could give that hacker a GrubHub gift card to purchase their own dinner. If you go with this method, you should notify the hacker that they will be responsible for purchasing their food before the event so they can prepare accordingly.

Distributing Meals

We recommend that you store any meals that are specifically for folks with dietary restrictions at another table to avoid them being accidentally taken by the wrong person. We recommend printing out a list of hackers with dietary restrictions and checking off names as you hand them out, so you can ensure that the meals are being distributed to the right people.

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