How food services on campus are being affected thus far


Denae Ayala and Christopher Lazaro

Daniel Keenan, director of Restaurant and Catering Facilities at Cal State LA, said during a phone interview, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s recent announcement forced the food court on campus to allow people to only order take-out. 

Garcetti’s order closed all dine-in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms and entertainment venues “to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 & protect people across LA.”

“We are taking it day by day,” he said. “People cannot gather in the dining area due to social distancing, but the food services will remain open.”

With classes being cancelled and moving online, there are worries for food service employees and diners on campus.

Brian Estarda, a pre psych major, voiced his concerns on social media. “Y’all think it’s still safe enough to eat at the food court? None of the workers have corona right?”

As of Monday evening, there have been no reported cases of Cal State LA students, faculty or staff being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Cal State LA food service employee Evelyn Gomez, her employment is her only source of income. “Everything is going to become more difficult for me,” said Gomez, who works at the school’s Everytable. “It brings worries not just to me, but for my co-workers as well.”

Gomez’s shifts were canceled last week due to the outbreak. Although she was working less than 20 hours per week, she said it was enough to cover her expenses.

“Nothing is set in stone right now. We don’t know when we will be resuming back to work. Everything is still on pause,” she said a few days prior to the closing of the library, where Everytable is located. Gomez did not respond to a request for a follow up interview in light of her workplace being temporarily shut down.

Despite the halt of food court dine-in services, the food pantry will remain open, Sesley Lewis, the coordinator of food and housing security said. “As of now, we are still in service; we didn’t get any notice from our superiors saying to stop our services.”

The food pantry is open for its normal hours but has been relocated from the U-SU to Student Affairs Room 115.

With the food pantry not shutting down, students are glad that they can still get free food. Maria Padilla, a second year student, said it’s a good opportunity. “It’s free food, and also [keep in mind] what’s been happening with the stores limiting the amount of food you get.”

Cal State LA will continue to provide updates as it monitors local government officials and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.