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The Society for Foodservice Management (SFM) has entered into a partnership with the Association Headquarters association management company based in Mt. Laurel, NJ. SFM had been managed by FSA Group. A transition team led by Dick Hynes has been charged with coordinating the changeover over the next two months.

Foodservice at the U.S. House of Representatives began operating on December 17th under a new contract with Restaurant Associates that will bring organic and locally grown cuisine to its offerings. Part of the “Green the Capitol” initiative spearheaded by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the new approach will also emphasize sustainable practices, including compostable and biodegadeable containers and disposables.

The Pasco County (FL) School District plans to install vending machines dispensing reimbursable breakfast and lunch meals as well as healthful snacks by the end of January. The program, initiated in conjunction with the Dairy Council of Florida, will allow students—even those in the free/reduced meal program—to pay for meals through the entry of a personal identification number (PIN) that accesses their meal accounts.

Penn State has opened a kosher foods section in its Mix at Pollock Commons venue. The options range from traditional Jewish foods like frozen cheese blintzes to instant kosher soups.

Compass Group has implemented a new cage-free shell egg policy and will phase it in over the first three months of 2008. The move is expected to affect about 48 million eggs annually. The policy will also require that all producers supplying Compass with cage-free eggs adhere to the standards of the third-party auditing organization Humane Farm Animal Care.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has named Idaho the most vegetarian-friendly state prison system in the country. The rest of the Top 10 in the anti-meat organization’s list are Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Hampshire, Utah, Hawaii, Tennessee, Kansas and North Dakota.

A Breakfast in the Classroom program in Connecticut has led to a dramatic upswing in breakfast participation. At schools serving breakfast in the classroom, participation has gone from 903 to 1,978. The program is being subsidized by state grants that districts can use to purchase baskets, waste barrels and cleaning supplies. Different districts use different approaches, with some delivering food directly to classrooms while others have students grab the breakfasts in the cafeteria as they enter the school. Seven districts are participating: Bridgeport, New Britain, Stratford, New London, New Haven, Norwich, Waterford and Ansonia.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Aramark will open a new casual dining/tavern restaurant concept in PNC Park to replace the recently closed Outback Steakhouse unit. The space is intended be more affordable than the Outback, where check averages were over $43 per person, and thus attract more fans.

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