By Vanessa Willis, Staff Writer—
The start of the semester at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga brought many changes, and some that might go underappreciated in all the chaos include the addition of Blue and Gold Bistro, Freshens and a new food delivery service.
Blue and Gold Bistro offers a home style barbecue menu with allergen-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. This menu offers something different from the usual fast-food style vendors in the food court.
Freshens, a quick service establishment with the goal of “meaningful nourishment, wellness, and energy,” offers a menu with various vegetarian options including wraps, sandwiches, salads, rice bowls, and smoothies. Additionally, all food items on their menu can be customized to remove any specific ingredient that may violate a student’s dietary restrictions.
Morgan Snyder, a vegetarian student, is thankful to have more options on campus.
“I’m so happy that Freshens and Blue & Gold Bistro are on campus and so close to residence halls,” Snyder said. “Crossroads doesn’t have many vegetarian options. Eating at Crossroads can be hard because I can only have so many variations of salad.”
According to a College Pulse survey, 14% of college students in the United States follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Changes to UTC’s dining options were necessary if they were to properly accommodate such a large chunk of the student body.
In addition to these new dietary accommodations, food delivery is now available. Students and other members of the UTC community can download the GET app, log in using their UTC ID and password, and in just a few clicks, have food from the University Center (UC) delivered to various locations around campus, including Stacy Town Center, West Campus, and Founder’s Hall.
This new feature allows students to have food brought closer to their residence halls or wherever they are studying. Not only is this option convenient and time-efficient, it also helps keep the crowds lower in the UC. This form of social distancing helps students and staff avoid the physical exchange of money and generally serves to cut down on opportunities for exposure to COVID-19.
Student Heather Bishop lives in Stophel apartments on the southern end of campus. She makes use of this new service often, and has her food delivered to Stacy Town Center.
“I love not having to go all the way to the UC to get dinner,” Bishop said. “I try to avoid going out on campus as much as I can, so the food being delivered to a location just across the street from my dorm is incredibly convenient.”
Overall, these are welcome changes in the UTC community as they further accommodate student needs while simultaneously responding to current conditions with sensible solutions.