For the fall 2020 semester, part of the Whittemore Center Arena has been transformed into a café, called the Café Central. Since Union Court is closed this semester due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the inability to social distance, students will be able to enjoy a variety of foods while also staying six feet apart. Similarly to Union Court, Café Central will accept dining dollars, swipe plans, and meal exchange up to $8.50 value.
This meal exchange program is for both students, faculty and staff and will be open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. UNH Dining Services recently added 30 additional meal exchanges to all meal plans, allowing more students to easily get food from Café Central.
The menu offers a wide range of food including different types of pizzas, burgers, beverages, and chicken such as wraps and tenders. Café Central also is proving the option of “Grab and Go” where students and faculty can grab candy, brownies, cookies and chips for a quick snack in between class. The full menu can be found on the UNH dining website.
Central Café can be found through door “E” of the Whittemore Arena at the concession stands. There will be multiple stands, each serving different foods. The Corner Den will be serving different salads along with soups of the day. The concessions stands will be designated to chicken, burgers, and pizza, similarly to how Union Court was set up. Having separate concession stands in the Whittemore Arena makes it just as convenient to get the food you want, but also allows students and staff to social distance, unlike Union Court.
As for the dining halls, COVID-19 precautions are being taken to keep students safe and have multiple procedures in place. There is hand sanitizer available at the entrance of each location throughout the facilities, along with plexiglass in between each table as a protective barrier so students can feel safe while eating without wearing a mask at their tables. Students and staff are required to wear a mask while walking around the dining halls. Tables and high touched surfaces will be disinfected at a minimum of every 2 hours.
The dining halls are no longer set up in a buffet style. Students are handed disposable containers but each of the menus at the three dining halls change daily to ensure students have a different variety of food each day. The State of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) guidelines do not allow self-serve options which means Dining Services cannot allow stir fry and salad bars, along with other customizable options such as sandwiches. Seating is allowed but reduced to have six feet between each table.
Guest passes are now gifted to students from UNH dining but only allow for people that have met the requirements for building access. This means friends and family not properly cleared will not be allowed into any of the dining facilities.
UNH Dairy Bar, Wildcatessen, and Philbrook Café are open but students must order from GrubHub, which is a food ordering app. GrubHub is found in the app store and students should opt into Campus Dining in the app. GrubHub also allows students to use their meal plans on the app including dining dollars and Cats Cache.