While most students of Stony Brook University have left campus, about 2,000 students with extenuating circumstances and international students with no way to get home are still living in dorms and relying on the dining program for meals. (All students can take classes online.)
Devising a process that greatly reduces the interaction of dining staff with the remaining students, the CulinArt team at Stony Brook have provided students several safe ways to get meals every day in the new reality of the coronavirus pandemic.
“In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, Stony Brook University has had to make some important adjustments in the way we provide dining services to the campus in order to ensure the health and safety of our campus community,” says Angela Agnello, marketing director at Stony Brook.
Photo: Using an app, students can also order meals for delivery; it’s been a big hit.
Two dining halls—East Side and West Side—are open for three meal periods each day when students can come in, pick up food and bring it back to their room, ideally with as little contact as possible. To minimize risks, the dining team has made some adjustments. Student ID cards are no longer swiped; rather, students scan into the dining location with a barcode on their mobile device.
Just before students enter the dining halls, they are provided with a pair of single-use gloves to wear and are asked to put the gloves on before touching door handles, and to not remove them until after they leave the building. There is also hand sanitizer outside each facility, so students are able to sanitize prior to putting on gloves.
“Students enter through one side of the dining area and exit at the other side,” Agnello says. “We placed markers on the floor to ensure students are aware of social distancing six feet apart. A takeout container is filled by a staff member as they proceed down the service line. Students are not allowed to remain in the dining facility.”
The menu changes every day, and includes beef, chicken, fish, kosher, halal and vegan options, fresh fruits and vegetables, comfort foods and dessert. One recent menu included Jamaican jerk chicken, vegan shepherd’s pie, beer-battered cod, mac ‘n cheese, roasted Brussels sprouts, garlicky broccoli and sweet potato mash.
Photo: Stony Brook’s dining team takes advantage of technology and social media to keep the campus community informed during these uncertain times.
Retail locations, like the library Starbucks and the Market at West Side c-store, are open as well. Students can order Market at West Side items for delivery on the GETmobile app using credit cards, Wolfie Wallet debit accounts and meal plan Dining Dollars to pay. Students are ordering essentials, snacks, cleaning supplies and toiletry items. New items are being added every day, including breakfast value packs that include a sampler of cereals, Pop Tarts and oatmeals. Students can also order cold cuts to make sandwiches in their dorms.
And should a student become sick, there’s protocol in place. Students are instructed to seek medical attention right away from student health services and to not leave their room to get food, instead, students should contact their RD to complete a sick tray form on their behalf. This way, a friend or neighbor can pick up a meal and leave it in front of their room door.
Contact Tara at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter @Tara_Fitzie