Mother upset with COVID-stricken daughter’s meals at VCU: ‘No protein, nothing hot’


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The mother of a Virginia Commonwealth University student is raising concerns about the COVID-19 care her daughter is getting on campus.

Wanda Bryd’s daughter, Eryn Byrd, is a scholarship track and field athlete at VCU. The normally strong 17-year-old is in quarantine on campus while fighting the virus. Yet, mom tells 8News she trying to recover with very little nutritional and dependable food.

“Her lunches has been pretty much a sandwich and chips,” Bryd said.

“Her lunches has been pretty much a sandwich and chips,” said Wanda Bryd.

Wanda Byrd tells 8News it took days to get that sandwich and chips. She says her daughter went into isolation Friday with a box of non-perishables thanks to her coaches. The first VCU meal didn’t arrive until three days later.

“She received her first meal on Monday at 3:15 p.m.,” Byrd said.

She says she is concerned about the quality of the meals the freshman athlete and others in quarantine are getting.

“I want her healthy because when I brought her to VCU she was a healthy kid,” she says. She adds that the first dinner was pasta and marinara sauce. She says there was no salad, no veggies.

Wanda Byrd

“They bring them lunch for the day, dinner and breakfast for the following morning. Which is generally going to be oatmeal or cereal or a cereal bar. No protein, nothing hot,” she explained.

And mom says she’s paying for it; Eryn Bryd has a VCU meal plan.

“My concern is she has a meal plan, so she should be able to access her meal plan,” mom declared.

VCU tells 8News that students should enter “isolation with a starter box of meals to last three days.”

In a statement, Michael R. Porter, associate vice president for public affairs at VCU also wrote, “Within 24-to-48 hours of entering quarantine or isolation, the student also begins to receive regular delivery of meals.”

Yet on Wednesday, Wanda Byrd says Eryn’s lunch didn’t arrive until almost dinner time.

Eryn Bryd

“As of 4 o’clock yesterday she hadn’t received her lunch. I am not asking for anything that is unreasonable,” she insisted. Byrd understands it’s a trying time.

She says “If you messed up and you didn’t have something quite in place. I am OK. Let’s work on it, let’s fix it.”

While VCU did not explain the delay in Eryn Bryd’s meal delivery or 8News’ questions about the timing of the deliveries, they did relay in full:

It is important for each student in quarantine or isolation to stay in their room to avoid spreading COVID-19. That is the purpose of the VCU meal delivery program.

VCU provides each student entering quarantine or isolation with a starter box of meals to last three days. Within 24-to-48 hours of entering quarantine or isolation, the student also begins to receive regular delivery of meals. Delivery continues for the duration of their time in quarantine or isolation. Each student in quarantine or isolation is also provided with an on-call number to report any issues with food delivery.

The initial box includes a three-day supply of non-perishable prepackaged foods such as high protein bars, Gatorade, waters, soups, crackers and snacks.

24-48 hours after the student enters quarantine or isolation, they will also begin to receive daily fresh meal kits which are prepared in the dining hall and delivered to students once they are in quarantine/isolation. These meals consist of a breakfast grab bag that contain things such as yogurt, cereal, cereal bars, muffins, oatmeal, milk, juice etc. The kit includes a perishable fresh lunch meal that could either be a sandwich with chips and beverages or a large entrée salad with a protein and maybe breadsticks and a beverage. We also provide a dinner meal that’s prepared fresh and blast chilled to keep fresh for the student to microwave later. In order to maintain quality and provide a delicious meal, we are preparing entrees that will be good to reheat such as pasta, rice, vegetables, rolls or breadsticks and some type of protein.

Statement from VCU



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