Each Friday I compile a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the news that week and why you should care about them.
Here’s your list for the week of July 24:
1. District loses fresh fruit snack program
Many school districts receive funding through the USDA to provide fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks in the classroom for free to students. One district in Wyoming, however, is losing that privilege due to an “error in calculations by the federal government,” according to the Jackson Hole News & Guide. Teton County School District was notified that its funding for the program was going to be reduced for the upcoming school year, but that several schools would still receive the money due to their high free and reduced percentage. That turned out not to be the case, and the district was notified that there was an error in the calculations that determined the funding. Only one district will receive funding for the program this year, and it will only be for part of the year. Last year, the district received $73,000; this year it will receive $23,000.
Read more: Fresh snack program cut in schools
2. Brazil starts vegan school lunch program
It’s like Meatless Monday, but the vegan version. Brazil recently announced that it will serve one plant-based meal each week at all state-run schools. That’s 140,000 vegan meals served each week. The move comes after several animal rights groups lobbied for the change.
3. Facebook foodservice workers vote to unionize
The foodservice employees at Facebook’s headquarters location in Silicon Valley voted late last week to unionize. The past couple of years has seen many foodservice workers across the industry fighting for additional wages, often through the help of a union. Facebook tried to get ahead of the issue by offering its employees $15 an hour, but workers still wanted to unionize.
Read more: Facebook cafeteria workers vote to unionize
4. Oregon students look to ride-share possibilities to help alleviate food insecurity
Food insecurity on college campuses isn’t a new trend, but it sure is getting more attention lately. Many schools have opened food pantries on campus. But students at the University of Oregon are hoping to do more, and one possibility would be starting a ride-sharing program that would allow students to group together to drive to affordable grocery stores or food pantries that they might not otherwise be able to get to if they didn’t have a car. Some schools are opening grocery store-type locations on campus. It seems like many college students could benefit from this service.
Read more: Starving Students? An Unfortunate Trend on College Campuses
5. Prison foodservice worker arrested for smuggling drugs
This sure won’t help the perception of prison food: Four people, one of whom worked for the foodservice program at an Alabama prison, were arrested for crimes including distribution of a controlled substance.
Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @bschilling_FM