Food Pantries: A relief measure to Ease Hunger among Students and Staff during COVID-19
In 2021, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Nakhon Si Thammarat increased significantly. Walailak University, therefore, placed importance on the well-being of students and staff. All classes were conducted through online learning to reduce the risks of COVID-19. However, some students and staff stayed in dormitories, resulting in an increased risk of COVID-19. Hence, if a student or staff infected with the virus, the university would separate the risky student or staff for quarantine.
In addition, Walailak University Hospital collaborated with Thasala Hospital to screen for COVID-19 infection in students and staff at Walailak University and prepare quarantine facilities such as a dormitory and field hospital for those infected with the virus, with the capacity to accommodate 240 beds.
To ease hunger among students and staff while they were in quarantine, Walailak University took measures to provide food without any cost. The measures included:
1) Providing 3 packaged meals and water per day. The meals were put into a locker without direct contact with the infected students/staff.
2) Accommodate the students/staff to easily order food online and delivery drivers to safely provide the food in line with measures to prevent COVID-19.
3) Establishing happiness-sharing pantries to provide instant food and consumer goods which were necessary for daily routine.
4) Offer free food at the food center during the specified time and food.
The measures were not only aimed at students and staff who had quarantined at Walailak University Hospital or field hospital but also at local people living near the university who were admitted to the hospital. These measures were also subsidized by government organizations, private sectors, and the public. The university provided an opportunity to receive donations, such as food, cash, water, and necessary items.
Furthermore, voluntary activities were conducted by the students at the university as staff to deliver food to those patients.
This campaign could ease the hunger among students and staff who were quarantined during the pandemic. Those students and staff received sufficient food and water, which allowed them to continue their lives.
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 1: Nopoverty
GOAL 3 : Good heath and well-being
GOAL 17 : Partnerships for the goals