Good food (and plenty of it!), excellent nutrition, and fun are the goals of Overland’s meals. Each group buys, prepares, and eats all of its meals together. Our students, with their leaders’ supervision, prepare all meals. At Overland, meals are a group experience, an important way to foster connection with and consideration for other group members.
Allergies & Intolerances
We recognize there are many people with food allergies or intolerances. We welcome these people’s interest in joining us, and we ask prospective Overland leaders with an allergy/intolerance to please consider the following important information.
Most meals at Overland are prepared in basic kitchens (or outdoors), and groceries are typically purchased from small stores with limited choices. As a result, meals are prepared and served in what may be allergen-contaminated environments, and on some trips allergen-free/gluten-free foods are not readily available. If a prospective leader has an allergy/intolerance that constitutes a disability, we will engage in an interactive process with the prospective leader to determine whether there is a reasonable accommodation that would allow the prospective leader to perform the essential functions of the positions.
In all things, our top priority is to help maintain our students’ and leaders’ well-being; to this end, all Overland leaders are trained to recognize and respond to allergic reactions, including administering antihistamines and epinephrine (both are carried in every trip’s first aid kit). Leaders also carry cell phones, and in some cases, satellite phones, so that should the need arise, emergency personnel can be contacted and their services requested. It is important for all prospective leaders to understand that many groups travel in remote areas where emergency services may not be easily or readily accessible.
Every summer there are many vegetarians who join our groups and who enjoy meat-free meals. We are happy to welcome these students and leaders as long as they understand they will share in the group’s meals but will simply have the meat portion withheld. For example: sandwiches at lunch with hummus, lettuce, tomato, and cheese (while the rest of the group has sandwiches with sliced turkey or ham); pasta at dinner with a tomato sauce (while the rest of the group has pasta with a meat sauce).
Vegan & Specialized Diets
We sometimes have requests from student and leader applicants with specialized diets—vegans, for example—to provide separate, specialized meals. As much as we’d like to be able to accommodate these applicants, the limitations of our kitchens, the size of available grocery stores, and the importance of group meals make it impractical to provide separate, specialized meals.