In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments affecting onsite dining.
Here’s your list for today:
- Only 8% of NYC workers back in offices full-time, survey finds
According to a report by the Partnership for New York City, just 8% of New York City office workers are going back full-time to their workplaces and at least 28% have continued to work fully remote, while 78% of workplaces have adopted hybrid models despite Mayor Eric Adams' pleas for them to head back to the city. The survey of 160 major employers in Midtown and the financial district between April 21 and May 4 also found that 11% of hybrid workers are in the office four days per week, 17% three days per week, 21% two days per week, and 14% only one day per week.
- MaineHealth to open food pantry in former bus station
MaineHealth will be opening a third food pantry in partnership with Good Shepherd Food Bank in a former Greyhound bus station (the first two pantries already operating in system hospitals). Renovation work is expected to begin on the building next month, and MaineHealth plans to open the pantry by early fall, initially to serve MaineHealth patients with the goal of expanding to serve the entire community as appropriate, offering healthy fresh, frozen and shelf-stable food in a convenient, trustworthy and stigma-free environment.
- Ohio University struggled with staffing all year but kept dining halls open
Although Ohio University campus dining halls were open for the entirety of the 2021-22 school year, staffing levels never reached the level they had been before the COVID-19 pandemic, says Frank Pazzanese, executive director of Culinary Services, noting that “we need anywhere from 1,500 to 1,700 students [but in the Fall Semester] we were only getting to 800 and now we're a little over 1000.” To encourage OU employees to recruit new members, Culinary Services had started a Culinary Services Referral Bonus Program that rewarded OU employees $1,000 if the person they referred was hired and remained on staff for at least 60 days. As of April 6, 21 employees had submitted referral forms and five new employees were hired from the referrals, Ryder said.
- U.Va. Health looks to U.Va. students to help fill summer staff shortages
With an increasing need for workers in the healthcare industry as well as student need for jobs and experiences in clinical settings, members of the University of Virginia Health System and Pre-Health Advising Team have decided to team up to offer work opportunities to students in the summer. The entry-level positions offered at the University Medical Center include greeter, access associate, patient transporter, food and nutrition roles and supply chain as well as positions in the Office of Environmental Services. “Right now, the need for the hospital staffing [is great], and to extend this opportunity really makes a concerted effort to focus on U.Va. students,” said Charles Bodden, the senior director of Talent Recruitment and Retention with U.Va. Human Resources. “I mean, they're attached to the hospital system, why not provide them the first opportunity?”
- Crowded free steak lunch led to worker’s COVID death, lawsuit claims
The family of an Iowa meatpacking plant worker who died from COVID-19 is suing JBS USA and its JBS Live Pork and Swift Pork subsidiaries for allegedly failing to protect employees who were “crammed” into a dining hall for a free steak lunch in appreciation of their attendance during the pandemic. In March 2020, the company had staged a series of free New York strip steak lunches as a thank-you to workers for continuing to work during the pandemic and the lawsuit claims that hundreds of workers had to be “crammed” inside the Marshalltown plant cafeteria despite the Iowa governor’s order in effect at that time that public gatherings be limited to no more than 10 people. “Shoulder to shoulder and entirely unprotected from the deadly pandemic, workers ate a free meal as ‘thanks’ for their service during the pandemic,” the lawsuit states. “These conditions were memorialized with photos on the defendants’ Facebook page.”
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]