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. 9:
1. St. Paul cafeteria workers vote to strike
Ninety-two percent of the more than 300 nutrition services employees at St. Paul public schools have voted in favor of a strike. According to the local CBS outlet, a joint mediation session between the union and the district is set for Oct. 24, and if a resolution can’t be found the cafeteria employees would go on strike in November. At issue is the pay for the foodservice workers, with the union saying they are the lowest paid in the district, are not receiving a raise in 2017 and are the only group that is not receiving at least $15 per hour next year in the district. The district says it is “fully prepared” to continue serving meals to students if the workers strike.
2. Childhood obesity increased tenfold in past four decades
A new report has found that the childhood obesity worldwide is increasing—from 5 million girls in 1975 to 50 million in 2016 and from 6 million boys in 1975 to 74 million in 2016. That means one in five children is obese or overweight. The study was conducted by Imperial College London with the World Health Organization. They looked at data for nearly 129 million children in 200 countries. The study also looked at the effect poverty has on obesity, and found there is a correlation between the two—as poverty increases, so does obesity. Childhood obesity rates for the US have plateaued recently at around 20 percent.
3. Three districts join Urban School Food Alliance
Baltimore City Public Schools, Philadelphia City School District and Clark County School District have joined the Urban School Food Alliance (USFA), a group of now 10 large school districts that aims to use its purchasing power—nearly $735 million a year—to improve the quality and healthfulness of the food items it buys for students. The 10 member districts serve more than 3.6 million students each day at more than 5,500 schools. So far, USFA initiatives include the procurement of antibiotic-free chicken and eco-friendly lunch trays.
4. What’s it take to feed an NFL team
Football season is in full swing, and this interesting article by ESPN takes a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to feed NFL players. You can imagine that the quantities are fairly large when feeding players who can weigh in excess of 300 pounds. At the Buffalo Bills cafeteria, for instance, 700 pounds of rotisserie chicken is served each week to the 250 people who eat there daily.
5. Student finds worm in food
A student in North Carolina was none too pleased when she found a worm in her prepackaged strawberries served at school. The strawberries were part of the USDA’s commodity foods program. School officials pulled the menu item after the worm was brought to their attention.
Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected].
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