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 May 29:
1. More in school lunch “shaming”
This week in lunch “shaming” news, students at a high school in New Jersey say administrators shamed students who had unpaid meal accounts. The incident happened during a graduation preparation assembly during which students who had unpaid meal accounts had their names called out and were told if they didn’t pay up they wouldn’t be able to walk at graduation. Students who had overdue library books were also called out. One student took a photo of the “shaming” and posted it to social media, which quickly gathered steam online.
2. Parents urge Boston schools to drop contractor
Parents of some Boston Public Schools children have started a campaign to get the district to drop Whitsons as its foodservice provider. Whitsons provides prepackaged meals to about two-thirds of the district’s schools that don’t have kitchens on site. Currently, Whitsons cooks and freezes Boston’s meals in its Long Island, N.Y., facility and ships them to Boston. The company has secured a facility in Dorchester, Mass., where it will begin producing fresh meals for the Boston schools, if it wins a contract renewal. Whitsons’ contract with Boston is up in August, which prompted the parent’s campaign for the district to move to another foodservice option.
3. The bond between customers and café employees
This is a great piece on the bonds formed between the workers in the Boston Globe café and the customers. The piece was written by a columnist at the Globe, describing the relationship he and his co-workers have developed with the café workers. The Globe is moving offices and will no longer have the café. Here’s a snippet: “If you work at a place where there’s a cafeteria, you know how attached people become to those who serve them food. It’s more than sustenance, more than a business transaction. As the years pass, the ritual forms a bond. It’s almost familial, except cafeteria workers tend to be much nicer to you than your family is.”
4. UK hospitals receive criticism over reduced portion sizes
In an effort to help its employees and visitors eat healthier, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust is reducing the portion sizes of the meals it serves in its cafeterias. A nutritionist for the system said there was portion distortion, which helped lead to diet-related health issues, and that these meal-cutting measures were intended to help. Some hospital employees, however, aren’t on board with the change saying the system has no right “in wanting staff to go on diets.”
5. Georgia Ag leader aims to increase state-grown products in schools
Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black has set a goal of increasing the amount of state-grown products on school menus to 20 percent by 2020. Black said the moves would help the state’s economy and would help drive job growth in what is the state’s No. 1 industry.