With some MTSU students quarantined on campus in adherence with COVID-19 protocols, dietetics majors are trying to make their isolation more bearable.
Members of the student Nutrition and Dietetic Association group, along with faculty and staff, donated money via apps like Cashapp and Venmo to pay for bags of snack foods that were distributed to the quarantined students two weeks ago.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 must remain in isolation for 14 days, and MTSU has set aside 100-plus rooms on campus to accommodate those students. While MT Dining provides them with three meals a day, the students don’t have access to the snacks they usually would enjoy.
Alyssa Poythress, a senior from Cookeville, Tennessee, already had established the necessary contacts through her position as a residence director over the Smith, Sims, Beasley, Judd and Gracy dormitories. She had access to an information sheet with the residents’ food preferences.
“I made two gluten-free bags, six bags with no restrictions, maybe four or five lactose intolerant bags and about three nut-free bags,” Poythress said.
She included healthy snacks such as Kind bars, oatmeal, rice cups, peanut butter, air-pop popcorn and gluten-free pretzels for those in quarantine at Womack Hall.
“Everything had to be pre-packaged when I went to Womack,” Poythress said. “Of course I had my mask on properly, and I gave it to the A.C. (area coordinator) at Womack. He put them in his office so no one else would take them. He would give them to the quarantined students personally.”
Poythress, who is a nutrition and food science major, also is treasurer of the Nutrition and Dietetic Association. The group’s faculty adviser, instructor Ginny Bogle, said Poythress’s project serves as a valuable lesson for other dietetics students.
“Giving back the service to the community is something that they always take with them when they help others similar to themselves,” Bogle said. “I think they get a lot of self-fulfillment working with their peers.”
For more information, contact Bogle at email@example.com or Poythress at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Gina Logue (Gina.Logue@mtsu.edu)