In 2020–21, Middlebury College Dining Services operations will be informed by current guidance from the CDC and the Vermont Department of Health. To prevent the spread of the virus, physical distancing and enhanced cleaning protocols will be integrated into everything we do. Hours, seating arrangements, and other details of dining service will change throughout the year as public health conditions warrant. We are committed to operating safely and delivering delicious meals to our campus community.
As in previous years, all on-campus students will be on the unlimited meal plan. Students are allowed in the dining halls as many times as they would like, as long as they follow the new procedures. Students may use their meal swipes at some retail locations, including the Grille and our new food truck.
Students enrolled to study in-person who are living off campus and would like to be on or removed from the meal plan should email Dining Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The experience in our dining halls will be significantly changed in 2020–21. These changes have been put into place for your safety as well as the safety of our faculty and staff, by limiting physical access to food items as well as the amount of time students spend communally in the dining halls. Dining Services will utilize a flexible approach and alter its approach based on the evolving public health situation. Our dining staff asks for patience, understanding, and compassion from the student community in light of this very different way of operating.
Dining During Campus Quarantine:
- Dining halls will operate on a strict “to-go” model at least until all students successfully complete their Day 7 COVID-19 tests.
- Inside seating may be possible later in the semester when/if public health conditions warrant it.
- Students will be required to pick up their meals, without distraction and leave the dining halls.
- Students can eat their meals outside in groups of 10 or less (with appropriate physical distancing) or back at their rooms.
- Outside tents will be available at each location for queuing and outdoor seating.
- You will be assigned a dining hall and meal times prior to coming on campus; all meals will need to be received at your assigned location unless otherwise directed.
- The Grille will be open as a board dining location offering to-go only lunch and dinner for a board meal swipe. There will be no eat-in dining available for this location.
- The food truck will be utilized to deliver board replacement lunches and dinners and will be parked next to Forest West.
- Menus will be limited during this time, and the same menu will be offered in all dining halls. If your nutritional and dietary needs are not being met, please contact one of the chefs and we will do our best to accommodate them.
- Both Crossroads and Wilson Café will be closed during the arrival testing period.
- All condiments, cereal, yogurt, and eating utensils will be single serve and disposable.
- Meals will be packaged in reusable containers by dining staff for takeout; no self-service will be allowed.
- Students are required to follow physical distancing requirements and wear face coverings at all times in all campus dining locations.
Please note that there will not be as much meal variety during the quarantine period, meals for special diets, as well as vegan and vegetarian meals will be avaiable.
We will move out of campus quarantine, consistent with state of Vermont guidance, if the indicator metrics support it. At such time, our protocols will be modified as follows:
- Inside seating will be available in all locations; however, it will be greatly reduced. Many chairs and tables will be removed from the dining centers to increase physical distancing. This reduces the number of people who can be in each dining center at one time; therefore, many people will need to be flexible with meal times. Students who cannot access the dine-in service can use their meal swipes at either the Grille or the Food Truck.
- Late-night Grille service will return to the normal menu with takeout service only. Lunch at the Grille will continue to be available.
- Students will be allowed to go to any of the three dining halls and assignments will be discontinued.
- Crossroads will be open for pickup only.
We will make all reasonable efforts to move toward more normal dining operations as appropriate based on public health conditions. Possible protocols may include:
- Dining halls will offer all self-serve options.
- China plates and silverware will be available.
- Seating areas will be appropriately enlarged.
- The Grille and other retail units will be fully open and have seating available.
- Normal entrances and exits will open.
- The three dining halls will offer different menus.
Dining with Food Allergies
Our chefs and kitchen staff are prepared to support your dietary needs. If you aren’t able to find what you need at a meal time, you are welcome and encouraged to have a conversation with our supervising chefs and we will make a meal that you can enjoy. As always, we will offer a variety of allergy-free items in all three dining halls.
Because the dining operations are high-traffic areas, enhanced cleaning protocols are being implemented in 2020–21. Staff will continue to wash their hands frequently; hard surfaces and high-contact surfaces will be disinfected more frequently; high-traffic locations will close for a period of time between meal periods for deep cleaning; and seating, when available, will be cleaned and sanitized after each shift. New Lexan barriers will be installed at the cashier stations and a variety of other locations throughout the food service areas, and a physical distance of six feet between students and dining workers will be required whenever possible.
In addition to the dining halls, Middlebury will continue to provide food and beverages at three retail locations: the Grille, MiddXpress, and our new food truck. The Grille will have a preorder option from an app, for on-site pickup. If the College leadership feels we can open with more retail locations, we will do so. Check the Middlebury Dining Services website.
Dining for Students in Quarantine and Isolation
Delivery services will be available for students who are in quarantine or isolation on campus, as mandated by Health Services or the Vermont Department of Health. This will allow students to access meals without creating an exposure risk to the rest of the community.
Students living off campus and enrolled for on-campus study will need to make arrangements for food delivery and/or to have housemates provide food for them during quarantine at their off-campus residence. If they are assigned to isolation housing on campus meal delivery will be provided.
You are assigned a dining hall and meal times based on your dorm location and your last name, see the chart below. All meals will need to be received at your assigned location unless otherwise directed.