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 April 3:
1. NYC mayor demanding answers about school meal flubs
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed anger and frustration over several incidents involving the city’s school meal program—bones in chicken nuggets were found on several occasions and photos of moldy pizza served in cafeterias were taken by what the local CBS affiliate said was a whistleblower. De Blasio promised answers would be found, but the Department of Education admitted that parents had not been informed about the issues with the school meals.
2. Philly schools hope to serve meals during school closings
When schools are closed either for weather or breaks, many students do not have access to the school meals they so desperately need. Nearly 80 percent of students in the Philadelphia schools qualify for free meals, and to prevent those students from going hungry the city’s school district is taking a cue from fellow East Coast district Washington, D.C., and looking to pass a law that would start a pilot program to serve lunch during emergency school closures.
3. Maine introduces legislation for online school lunch application
Getting families to fill out and return applications for free and reduced priced meals is a burden on schools and an inconvenience for some families. If there were an online application to fill out such forms, would that help get more children who qualify for federally assisted school meals to actually receive them? That’s what Maine is looking to find out by introducing a bill that would require a statewide online school lunch application.
4. Virginia Tech looks to eliminate Styrofoam cups
In an effort to be more sustainable and reduce waste, Virginia Tech is looking to replace Styrofoam cups with a compostable version. The compostable cups are estimated to be about 10 cents more per cup than the current Styrofoam versions. The cups will also be double-walled, eliminating the need for a cup sleeve and the lid will also be compostable. Dining services is also expanding its to-go reusable container program in another move to be more eco-friendly.
5. Proposed bill would require breakfast in the classroom for high-poverty schools
New legislation proposed in Massachusetts would require schools with 60 percent or more of students receiving free or reduced priced meals to offer breakfast in the classroom. It would affect 260,000 students in 600 schools. The state currently requires high-poverty schools to offer breakfast, but the new bill would move the morning meal from the cafeteria to the classroom, which studies have shown increases participation.