Amherst College is proud to offer a wide range of food and dining options for students, families, faculty, staff and our wider community in all of our locations. We take care to ensure that our food choices always meet the needs of our diverse community and that we adhere to strict protocols for all events that will include the consumption of food—including catering, take-out and personally prepared foods. These policies are designed to reduce the risk of food borne illness from meals that are improperly prepared, maintained or served.

Catering and Events

A chef preparing a pan of food in an outdoor kitchen

Your Dining Experience

At Amherst College we want your dining experience to be enjoyable, nourishing and full of exciting variety. We have a number of food stations available each day that consist of static and daily items to meet your dietary needs and preferences.


In accordance with the requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Amherst Board of Health, Amherst College has implemented a number of protocols for all events that will include the consumption of food, including catering, take-out and personally prepared foods. You can review these on our Catering, Take-Out, and Personally Prepared Foods Policy page.

These policies are designed to reduce the risk of food borne illness from meals that are improperly prepared, maintained or served. To obtain a caterer permit for an event on campus, please review and download our Caterer Notification and Permit.

Also be sure to review our list of approved caterers, including restaurants, truck vendors and take-out caterers.

Event Notification

All events must be registered within 5 business days of the date of the proposed event. All events that have food must comply with the College’s Catering and Take-Out Policy.

Please download and review our event notification form for more information.

Food Protection

Food protection is our top priority, and we take a number of steps to meet the requirements of people who will be consuming food at any of our events. Please download and fill out our food protection questionnaire for catered events to let us know what foods that you will be chilling, cooking and/or reheating at Amherst College, and potentially hazardous foods, and the required temperature for each food as it leaves your preparation site.

Food Allergies

Finding food options with an allergy can be tough, but ACNutrition makes it easier. There is a filter tool on the site that allows you to check off the allergens and/or dietary restrictions you may have. Only the menu items that will appear are those that do not contain the items you are avoiding. This makes daily meal planning fast and easy!

Please note that not all potential allergens are listed in ACNutrition; so it allows you to look at each item on the menu and read through its ingredients to make sure it’s safe for your consumption.

We also have an allergen friendly area in Valentine Hall that compliments a wide variety of dietary needs.

  • Egg Allergies
  • Dairy and Milk Allergies
  • Gluten and Wheat Allergies  
  • Peanut Allergies  
  • Seafood and Shellfish Allergies
  • Soy Allergies
  • Sesame Allergies

You can also learn more about food allergies and their effects at the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

Food Allergy Checklist

These food items may contain the following allergens:

  • Dairy
  • Egg
  • Fish (bass, flounder, cod), Seafood, Shellfish
  • Gluten, Wheat
  • Peanuts, Tree Nuts (almonds, cashews, macadamia, pecans, pistachio, walnuts)
  • Soy
  • Sesame

If you have any questions or concerns about how the food was prepared or what it may contain, please contact the Catering Staff Assistant at (413) 542- 2842.

Download a PDF of the Valentine Hall Food Allergy Checklist. For caterers outside of Amherst College, please download the Outside Caterer Food Allergy Checklist. 

The food allergy warning graphic that outlines the different allergens explained in the page's text