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Skidmore College

Serving up food from a safe distance

February 2, 2021
by Angela Valden

As the College takes additional precautionary measures and operates in “safe shelter” mode to begin the spring semester, Skidmore Dining Services is carrying out a massive effort to prepare and package thousands of meals each day for distribution to all students on campus. 

While students largely shelter in place in their residence hall rooms and apartments for the first week of the semester, Dining Services staff have been busy preparing breakfasts, lunches and dinners that meet a variety of dietary needs — from a traditional meal, such as grilled chicken with vegetables, to vegan, back-to-basics and other special dietary options — to be picked up from four stations outside of Murray-Aikins Dining Hall.  

“The dedication of the entire Dining Services team, and the partnership with our colleagues who are volunteering their time and good spirits to help, is truly incredible,” said Dining Services Director Mark Miller. “Murray-Aikins Dining Hall has been a hive of activity since last week, and the cooperation and hard work that have gone into this operation have been outstanding.” 

Skidmore Dining Services continues to find new ways to serve the Skidmore community safely. During "safe shelter" mode, special arrangements are in place.

The outdoor takeout system began on Jan. 28, the first official move-in day of the spring semester, and continues through Monday, Feb. 8. Lunches are set out for pickup from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily, and dinners and continental breakfast for the next day are available from 5 to 7 p.m. daily. Students are urged to pick up their meals — prepared cold with instructions for re-heating — during staggered times based on the first letter of their last name, to limit crowding and encourage social distancing. 

For the second week of classes, from Tuesday, Feb. 9, through Monday, Feb. 15, students will be permitted to pick up their meals — prepared hot — inside the Dining Hall. The Spa, Burgess Café and Atrium Café will also open on Feb. 9 with special hours and to-go service.

“What an amazing operation!” said President Marc Conner. “This is such an important, elaborate effort and it’s fantastic to see it in action. Dining Services has gone above and beyond to make quick adjustments as we take every step possible to ensure the safety of our students and employees.” 

Skidmore is limiting campus dining to residences for the first two weeks of the semester as part of its comprehensive set of measures to limit the initial number of COVID cases on campus and keep that figure low for the duration of the semester.  

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, the College will aim to resume in-person dining and open all retail operations with normal business hours, depending on the health conditions on campus and in the surrounding community. Murray-Aikins Dining Hall would open exclusively for students at that time. Additional, up-to-date information can be found on the Dining Hall webpage.  

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