The Viral NYU Food Debacle

By Hannah Bennett ’22

Images of some NYU meals (Photo Credit: NBC News)

If you are an avid TikTok user, you may have seen students at New York University (NYU) posting content about their required two-week quarantine. NYU is having its students quarantine for two weeks prior to classes starting, as most students come from different areas of the country and the world.


The main complaint from students during the quarantine has been the lack of food. One popular TikTok user, @filmgrrrl69, posted daily about what the students received for meals. On August 20, she posted a video saying that the school delivered one meal to her that day at 8:00 p.m. The video displayed a delivery of a roll, tofu, and string cheese. That was all she received for an entire day. Others received watermelon chicken salad, a dish that is now Internet-famous. Luckily for the students, companies like Chipotle reached out to the students and offered free meals. Other students coordinated baskets of snacks and water bottles that they delivered to the quarantined students.


Another school that many students have reported having inedible quarantine meals is the University of Georgia. UGA students are paying for the full semester’s meal plan. These students, unlike NYU students, leave their rooms and go to a cafeteria to pick up their food. The food? Child-size portions made at a noticeably lower quality.


Other universities have taken NYU’s food debacle as a learning experience and have strayed away. Harvard, for example, had taken heat about their dining services in the past but their quarantine dining has exceeded many students' expectations, with dishes that include tamari glazed beef served with edamame, jasmine rice, and roasted broccoli. A far cry from NYU’s watermelon chicken salad.

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