Missouri Southern delivers meals to students in quarantine

JOPLIN, Mo. – Navigating bumpy sidewalks in the heat, fighting to get a food cart through narrow doors, and knocking on doors.

That’s what senior April Schuerger spends a large part of most of her days doing.

“It’s definitely not my favorite thing to do. But, I mean, it’s necessary,” says Schuerger.

She spent around an hour on Wednesday delivering 29 lunches to other students who can’t leave their rooms. Whenever a student who lives on campus tests positive or is exposed to someone with COVID-19, they have to be quarantined or isolated on campus. Meaning they shift to online classes, and can’t leave their rooms.

“We do provide services while they’re in that space. We do meal deliveries to their rooms, so they don’t have to come out. If there’s other needs or requests they have like if they have a book that’s been ordered, we pick it up for them and bring that. If they have mail under that time, we bring it to their room, packages, we lay it in front of their door,” explains Director of Residence Life Josh Doak.

Three meals a day are packaged by food service staff, and then delivered by student workers like Schuerger — who drop the meals at students’ doors and then knock, so there isn’t direct contact.

“Whatever the main entree is, like, they’ll pretty much provide everything on that line for that day. Now if a student has allergies, we will accommodate those allergies or special requests,” says Doak.

And while it’s not her favorite thing to do, Schuerger says it feels good to know she’s helping and hopes it helps students who might be struggling after being disconnected from the outside world.

“We’re there. Even if it’s just to deliver food. You know, remind them they’re not alone,” says Schuerger.

On Monday (August 31st), MSSU reported that 30 new students had tested positive in the previous week. Doak says 22 students are currently quarantined or isolated on campus.