The University of York’s Very Own Quarantine Cuisine

Thanks to COVID-19 the normal dining experience at university has changed, especially for those quarantining. Here, we will explore how students really feel.

UoY Isolation Food

We have all seen on social media how other universities are feeding their isolating students, so how is the University of York fairing?

Food is a massive part of life- we have to eat to survive after all! Apart from keeping us alive, food is a comfort and can be especially as such during hard times… like the hard time we are in now: COVID-19. Students are especially hard hit and want something to boost their serotonin levels. So, is the university providing comforting yet good quality food to aid students’ woes?

“It is important that people do get a variety of vitamins and minerals to support their immune system”

The above quote is from nutritionist Claire Baseley, as part of her critique against York’s £70 sandwich meal deal. She has deemed it as not adequate nutrition for isolating students.

Students from the University of York are also given the option to pay £170 for three meals during the isolation period. Nevertheless, I am not an isolating student who is receiving these food packages so let’s look at someone who is. The anonymous student mentioned that they are in catered accommodation.

They reported back to me that they have received the breakfast bag, which is free and enough for two breakfasts! It contains:

  • Juice boxes
  • Cereals
  • Chocolate bars
  • Milk
  • Bread
  • Jam
  • Butter

They also received four canned meals but the canned macaroni cheese failed to please.

Nevertheless, this student is much less damning than Baseley’s critique. They found canned food “a good idea for an emergency meal package” as it’s flexible when it comes to where they can store it. They did add that canned food should not be a continuous trend “as it doesn’t taste really good” and that they would be “more inclined to get Uber Eats instead and the tinned food would be wasted”.

For isolation meals, I have also been told that students receive two bags: one, a hot dinner, the other is breakfast. This is part of the £100 package, which is around £3.60 per meal. The dinner is seen as a “respectable meal” with decent content. They find it to be”healthy and varies“. The menu is different from Monday to Sunday and then repeats for the week after that. The student is not a great fan of the vegetables but is happy to eat the rest. In terms of breakfast, they do like it, but feel the water bottle is unnecessary. However, not all are complete fans, as other isolating students did not eat Saturday’s dinner of macaroni cheese and sweetcorn.

The featured image for this article is an example of this Monday’s dinner. It looks to be Chinese food:

  • Rice
  • Vegetables
  • Chicken
  • Spring rolls
  • Spicy sauce

So, it looks like students aren’t just stuck with sandwiches, but are offered a decent variety of meals. Is this the best food? Probably not, but from what I can gather, it looks decent.

Let’s hope this whole COVID-19 debacle dies down so students are able to gain some sense of normality.

Image credit: anonymous student