Today: May 22, 2024

Dining hall delivering food to students in quarantine

Caitlin O’Halloran Reporter

The university has been delivering food to students in quarantine through the school’s food service provider, Sodexo.

“Through Microsoft forms, it outlines so that they can pick out what they want for lunch that day and then what they want for dinner to be delivered that night, so very much customizable to what they need,” said Dining Services General Manager Tony DeLuca.

The link provided to the students in quarantine contains the menu for that day’s dinner and the lunch. Students can choose what they would like to have the following day.

“If there’s any special request like ‘Hey, I don’t want tomato on my sandwich’ or whatever the case may be, we can customize each one based on the comments section that they can give us,” said DeLuca.

On the sheet they are sent, students must fill out information regarding their quarantine building name and number. Their dietary restrictions and choose a drink. Options of at least five different dishes for dinner is given and at least four choices for lunch and a dessert.

“Process for meals, I think, has changed quite a few just so we can maximize the process and make sure it’s as efficient as possible,” said Office of Residence Life graduate intern Leslie Garcia, “what’s going on this semester is I’m notified of a student going into quarantine or isolation I then also take charge of relocating them from their residence hall and into a town house for the duration of their quarantine and isolation.”

The list students in quarantine can choose from also include vegetarian and vegan options, for those who have dietary restrictions/preferences.

“I like that they gave a lot of different things, like during lunch they’d drop off the lunch but also breakfast and dessert and different drinks like water, orange juice, stuff like that,” said psychology major Andrew Keeton, a senior who was in quarantine in Neff Hall for two weeks.

Some of the options that students can choose from are a few of the same items that they could pick if they were eating in the dining halls in-person.

“Obviously, we can’t offer all the variety we have upstairs, but you know if they’d rather have something a little unhealthy like a cheeseburger or a pizza or something like that or as opposed to what the main entrée is that night, they can kind of pick and choose from there,” said DeLuca.

The process was altered from the beginning of the semester where students filled out sheets for their food in the upcoming days, which left students just moving in with no meals, to the process of them filling out the forms in the morning and getting their food that same evening.

“We’re not perfect, we’ve stumbled a little bit throughout the process just like we’ve tried to perfect the process but we do everything we can to make sure that it’s right and we’re doing it right and the good news is, if there’s something wrong they can call over and we can correct it very quickly,” said DeLuca.

The dining hall follows local health department protocols and food is checked for its temperature before being sent out. The dorm or townhouse where students are quarantining have bins set up outside to keep the food in where it is protected from outside germs, then students can pick their food up from the bin.

“I think the hardest piece probably is just the communication between the testing center, the school and us, so that we don’t miss anybody,” said Dining Services Marketing Manager Liz Floyd. “We make sure that we have all the information we need and that all the information that we need to send out gets to the right people and comes back to us and everything.”

Floyd noted the dining hall’s appreciation for feedback regarding questions or concerns from both students and parents so their team can address the issue that was a problem before it became a problem for another student.

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