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The 25% increase in the food service program is "purely food" and doesn't involve labor, said Vennie Gore, senior vice president for student life and engagement

5 things: 25% food cost jump prompts Michigan State to increase res hall rates 7% for next fall

This and the growing plastic-free lunch movement in New York City schools are some of the stories you may have missed recently.

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:

 1.    Michigan State raises res hall rates in response to food inflation

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees has voted to increase residence hall rates by nearly 7% for first year students this fall to account for a 10% increase in gasoline and energy costs and a 25% spike in food prices. The 25% increase in the food service program is "purely food" and doesn't involve labor, said Vennie Gore, senior vice president for student life and engagement, who pointed to exorbitant increases in egg costs in recent months as an example of the cost pressures MSU faces.

Read more: MSU increases residence hall rates in response to energy, food price inflation

 2.    Plastic-free lunches spread across NYC schools

A plastic-free school lunch movement is spreading across the country, teaching kids about the environmental impact of single-use plastic and empowering students to do something about it. Plastic-free lunches, which often incorporate finger foods like pizza, bite-sized vegetables and fruit, originated a few years ago at P.S. 015 Patrick F. Daly Elementary School in Brooklyn, N.Y., where school administrators partnered with a non-profit called Cafeteria Culture, but has now spread to all 750 New York City elementary schools, which hold plastic-free lunches at least once a month.

Read more: A plastic-free school lunch movement is spreading across the country

 3.    Nonprofit to provide free nutritious meals to cancer center

Nonprofit Daniels Table, which uses donated and rescued food to create nutritious meals, has announced a partnership with Tufts Medical Center in Massachusetts to provide free nutritious meals to cancer patients at the Tufts Cancer Center in Framingham. “We are so excited to offer this special service. It allows our patients to focus on treatments because they will be given nutritious food stability,” said Tufts Cancer Center Executive Director Elisa Scher.

Read more: Daniel’s Table & Tufts Medical Center Partner To Provide Nutritious Meals To Cancer Patients

 4.    Boston College to offer three meal plan levels this fall

Boston College will offer three price levels—light, base, and premium—for students’ residential meal plans starting in the 2023–24 school year, according to Director of Dining Services Beth Emery. Dining Services has considered offering multiple Mandatory Residential Meal Plan options for many years since we understand that ‘one size does not fit all,’” Emery wrote in an email to The Heights. “Offering multiple options will better meet student needs.”

Read more: BC Dining Will Offer Three Meal Plan Options for the 2023–24 School Year

 5.    Former inmates’ firm supplies hospital with ready-to-eat meals

Now providing ready-to-eat meals to staff, patients and visitors at Monmouth Medical Center in New Jersey is the health-focused meal-delivery service MacroBites, which was formed in 2019 by three men who had served time in prison and has grown from serving just Monmouth County to shipping nationwide. “We did a pop-up there during Black History Month in February and everybody loved the food, and the CEO of the hospital actually came, he liked the food too and I pitched him on the ready-to-eat meals," says MacroBites President David Lewis Jr. “We set up a meeting.”

Read more: Good hospital food? How MacroBites is trying to change dining at Monmouth Medical Center

Bonus: Food Management’s 2023 Top 50 Contract Management Companies in education, healthcare, business and sports/entertainment venues

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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