Colleges Serve Up Meals To Students Stuck in Quarantine

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has forced many colleges, like NYU and Pitt, to rethink how they plan to accommodate students. These schools have recognized cases would appear on their campuses, which led to the creation of quarantine protocols to keep students safe. While in isolation, the schools send students their meals because they are not permitted to leave until they have quarantined for two weeks.

This new protocol has caused many issues to say the least. At NYU, students have been giving the school backlash for the meals they have been receiving while stuck in isolation. The New York Times reported about how some students wouldn’t receive food at all.

“I never received lunch or dinner, so I genuinely thought they forgot about me.” Annette Yang, a first year student studying communications and culture, said. 

Other students also complained about receiving meat in their vegan meals, dairy  products in their lactose intolerant meals, and some claimed they received only a few snacks as their dinner. Students and parents alike are outraged over this development.  They have paid an expensive price for their yearly meal plans and are receiving insufficient meals from the school. 

“It was just so odd, I had to wait till 10 p.m. for dinner and when it got there all of the food was just not vegan.” Alexandra Mettler, a freshman at NYU, said.

While NYU has struggled with adjusting to these protocols, other colleges such as Pitt have done an excellent job. Julia Massimini, who is a former PV student and now a current freshman at Pitt, was stuck in isolation for two weeks. She said that the school did a great job of supplying her with satisfactory meals.

“Pitt did a phenomenal job with supplying us with food and drinks. They gave us so much each day.  I have drinks and snacks to last me the rest of the semester. The food they gave us for lunch and dinner was actually pretty good. I am a very picky eater, but I tried everything they gave us because I had to eat and it honestly was very good.” Julia said.

The school has also made major changes to keep their students safe and socially distanced, such as spending twenty two million dollars on renting hotels so that a majority of the students can live in a room by themselves.  Additionally, they have limited the number of students in a campus building and moved most classes online. 

Not only have they focused on the students physical health, but they have also gone out of their way to help their mental health as well. Some students rely on going outside and exercising when they are stressed, so it was especially difficult for them to be stuck in isolation for two weeks.

“ I honestly do believe that Pitt did an awesome job to keep everyone safe and as happy as possible while in quarantine. Because my anxiety got super bad in quarantine, the COVID support team at Pitt actually brought me a puzzle, colored pencils, and a coloring book to take my mind off things and as a nice distraction.” Massimini said.

While Pitt may be well off, As for NYU they released an apology letter explaining that they are going to be making changes in the future.

“We are aware of the students’ complaints, which are valid. This is a never-before-tried operation for us and our food vendor, Chartwells (ie, large-scale delivery of meals to student rooms. There are over 2,600 students quarantining in our residence halls, and every day they are supposed to get three decent meals. Nearly 20% of the meals are specialized–kosher, vegan, halal, etc.). But it is vital to get it right, and we are disappointed in Chartwells’s management of the quarantine meals process. We and Chartwells are correcting the situation promptly…” NYU stated.