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 Oct. 30:
1. San Diego schools leaving $145 million on table: report
A new report by the San Diego Hunger Coalition says San Diego County schools are leaving $145 million on the table for school meals programs. The report found that schools are not taking advantage of federal funding for children in the county who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. The study found that schools are leaving money untapped for breakfast, after-school suppers and summer lunches. The $145 million was for the 2015-2016 school year. According to KPBS, schools are either not offering those dayparts, or they are not taking advantage of federal funding for food for those dayparts. “A lot of the after-school programs that we’ve talked to are currently purchasing snacks through their own general budget. They’re raising money for that,” said Anahid Brakke, the Hunger Coalition’s executive director, in the KPBS article. Brakke is setting up a meeting between schools and nonprofits to cut into that number, with one goal being to increase the number of eligible students receiving subsidized breakfast from 40 percent to 56 percent.
2. St. Paul foodservice workers OK contract
Following the threat of a strike, cafeteria workers in St. Paul Public Schools have voted to approve a new two-year contract. The agreement still needs to be voted on by the schools and Teamsters 320, which will happen Nov. 14. The new contract includes a 2 percent wage increase at the start of both 2018 and 2019. Those employees who make less than $15 after cost-of-living adjustments will make $15 per hour, starting June 22, 2019. Employees who have more than 10 years’ service will receive 5 cents more than the normal hourly pay, beginning Jan. 6, 2019, and those with 15 years’ service will receive 15 cents above the normal hourly pay. That will change to 15 and 35 cents, respectively, in mid-2019.
3. College cuts employees following budget concerns
Campus Auxiliary Services has cut the number of dining services employees at SUNY Geneseo in New York following budget concerns. Dining services wanted to keep price increases below 3.5 percent, which meant that four managers were let go and student labor hours have been reduced by 10,000. In addition, dining services made cuts and adjustments to several dining locations’ hours.
Read more: Campus Auxiliary Services reduces dining hall hours, employees due to budget concerns
4. Northwestern starts reusable takeout option
In an effort to help with student convenience of takeout meals and reduce waste, Northwestern has launched a new Choose to Reuse program. After a one-time fee of $5, students are given a Choose to Reuse ticket. When they enter Elder Hall (the only dining facility at which this program is currently available), students hand the cashier their ticket, for which they get a reusable container. Students then fill the container and take it to go. Students drop off the container at Elder Hall to be washed where they can receive a new one for use.
5. San Diego Unified worried about lunch delivery services
In what is becoming a more common concern on school campuses, principals in five San Diego high schools are worried about students ordering meals from local restaurants that are then delivered to school. San Diego Unified has closed campuses. The district released the following statement: “There is no district policy on the use of these emerging apps, however students ordering food via a delivery service can present a disruption of our student’s instructional day and learning environment. Some principals have expressed concern that the deliveries could pose a danger to the safety and security of our school site campuses from unauthorized individuals having access to our students.”