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 17:
1. Boston schools selects new contractor
Following parent complaints, Boston Public Schools announced it is changing its foodservice contractor from Whitsons to Revolution Foods. The three-year contract is worth $38.4 million, according to the Boston Globe. The district said the move will allow it to move away from serving frozen meals to fresh ones. The move surprised some, following Whitsons’ securing a production facility near Boston that the company said would help it move away from frozen to fresh. About two-thirds of the district’s 125 schools lack full production kitchens.
Read more: Boston schools choose new food vendor
2. San Fran removes chocolate milk from schools
If there’s one issue that gets parents, health advocates and students riled up, it’s often chocolate milk. Many studies show that offering chocolate milk helps increase milk consumption in schools. But at a time when the focus is on sugar-sweetened beverages, many health advocates question if serving chocolate milk is the right move for schools. For San Francisco Unified Public Schools, the question has been put to bed—along with chocolate milk. The product will be removed starting this fall in the elementary and middle schools and from the high schools next spring. The district tested the removal in five schools this past school year and found that in two, there was no decrease in the amount of milk sold; in three schools, there was a slight dip.
3. District cuts Meatless Mondays
Oxnard Union High School District in California has removed Meatless Mondays from the menu. The district said the all-vegetarian meal had the lowest participation. The meatless meal was served on Fridays and not Mondays. The district says the move will help it financially, by increasing the number of students who purchase lunch. Oxnard Union currently has a $2 million nutrition services deficit.
4. Notre Dame takes over college’s dining program
Notre Dame is taking over the management of the dining program at nearby Holy Cross College, which had been managed by Sodexo since 1997. Under the new management, the dining program at Holy Cross will be updated.
Read more: University to take over Holy Cross food service
5. Omaha schools not expanding CEP over funding concerns
Six elementary schools in Omaha have been serving all students free meals under the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which allows schools to serve all students free meals regardless of their payment status. The district, however, will not be expanding the program to more sites because of concerns that the move could result in funding declines in other areas that rely on the number of students qualifying for free or reduced price meals. Schools that participate in CEP no longer have to collect meal applications, which can make it more difficult to get an accurate count of how many students live in poverty. CEP has tried to account for those losses through a calculation, but the Omaha district felt it would harm their funding.
Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @bschilling_FM