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5 things: PTA offers option to pay to cut cafeteria lines

This and more are the things you missed for the week of Aug. 14.

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 Aug. 14:

1. PTA offers option to pay to cut cafeteria lines

A PTA in Florida sent home a letter with several fundraising options. One of those options included a front of the line cafeteria pass—for $100. The option also included the family or company’s name being listed on the school’s website. When the note was sent home, one parent was upset and posted it on Facebook. And the rest, as they say, is history. Others quickly jumped on board, upset with the option. Some parents said it would make economically disadvantaged students feel “like second-class citizens.” The school administration quickly came out and said the option had been included in error. The option, the administration said, was explored and they decided not to pursue it but through a “clerical error” it was included in the note.

Read more: Parents upset after form promises pass to front of the cafeteria line for $100 donation

2.    College offers 30% dining discounts to attract workers

For the past several years, attracting student employees to work in college dining halls has been tough. So the University of Wisconsin at Madison is implementing a 30 percent discount on food for student employees. Dining services has long been asked by employees to offer the perk, which many other colleges do, so it was piloted over the summer.

Read more: Dining hall employees to receive 30 percent discount on food

3.    Georgia offers food scholarships for students in need

For the past several years, the University of Georgia (UGA) has offered students facing food insecurity a food scholarship—or a donated meal plan. UGA estimates it has about 7,000 students with food insecurity. This year, dining services is offering the food scholarship to more than 30 students. Funding for the program comes from donors. The program started in 2015, with only 16 students applying for the scholarship. Last fall, 373 students applied and 46 scholarships were given.

Read more: UGA Programs Help Students Who Might Go Hungry

4. Northwestern makes changes to meal plans

A new two-year requirement to live on campus is behind several changes to Northwestern’s meal plans. The new one-campus rule was made to help boost student engagement with dining services. Freshmen will be required to purchase the unlimited meal plan. There were also changes made to meal equivalences—previously students had to use their weekly allotment by Saturday night; any unused meals did not roll over That program has been altered to be more flexible and to include more dining dollars instead of equivalences.

Read more: Meal plan changes seek to increase student engagement, lower costs
  
5.  Cal cuts back on late-night dining hours

Crossroads dining hall will no longer offer dining hours until 2 a.m., and will instead close at 11. The move was made to help reduce costs. This isn’t the first university, or even the first one in the Cal system, to cut back on late-night dining hours. Cal dining says it will help meet some of those late-night needs by offering grab-and-go options at select locations.

Read more: Not quite late night: Cal Dining cuts back Late Night hours at Crossroads

Bonus: Sit-down restaurant an “oasis” for stressed hospital staff, visitors

Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @bschilling_FM

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