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5 Things
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University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Dining has announced that students will now be allowed to serve themselves.

5 things: Self-serve back at Penn Dining

This and a hospital nutrition team winning an exclusive food waste award from the EPA 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. Self-serve back at Penn Dining

University of Pennsylvania (Penn) Dining has announced that students will now be allowed to serve themselves—including creating their own salads and pouring their own bowls of soup—at various stations in each dining cafe for the first time since removing self-serve options due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other changes to Penn Dining this semester include increased meal exchange options at the Houston Market retail dining venue and adding a walk-in dining option at the previously all-reservation-only Quaker Kitchen—Penn's newest dining hall—for the first hour of service on a first come, first serve basis.

Read more: Self-serve options return to dining halls for the first time since before pandemic

  1. Hospital nutrition team recognized by EPA for food waste reduction

The nutrition services team at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Colorado has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for reducing food waste in the 2021 Food Recovery Challenge competition, one of only 18 organizations and businesses in the nation to be so recognized. Good Samaritan’s team won the 2021 award in the Medical Services category for its outstanding improvement by sector, earning the highest percent increase over its data from previous years.

Read more: Good Samaritan’s nutrition team receives national recognition for food waste reduction efforts

  1. Misuse of free dining swipes leads to strain on UMass dining venues

At the beginning of the spring semester, dining services at the University of Massachusetts offered 30 free YCMP (Your Campus Meal Plan) meal swipes to students with residential meal plans they could use until Feb. 13 as part of a program to “encourage some de-densification at dining sites." However, instead of substituting a meal at a dining hall with a meal elsewhere, many students aimed to use up all 30 swipes within the two-week timeframe, putting strain on already short-staffed dining venues. “What I’m seeing now, in the last couple of days with Harvest, is that we’re starting to see some areas where students are utilizing these swipes in manners we really didn’t design it to do,” noted Director of Residential & Retail Dining Services Garett DiStefano.

Read more: Providing free YCMPs put unnecessary strain on UMass Dining

  1. Bill would require DC hospitals to serve healthful foods

The Healthy Hospitals Amendment Act of 2022, a new bill introduced in Washington DC's city council, would require hospitals to serve healthful foods. The Act states, “(1) Hospitals shall make available to patients, staff, and visitors, at all times, a variety of healthful foods, including vegetarian and 100% plant-based meals, and meals that are low in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars, and shall ensure that all patients, staff, and visitors are made aware of these options through appropriate menu listings, signage, or other means; (2) Hospitals shall eliminate processed meats from all menus; (3) Hospitals shall provide and promote healthful beverages…”

Read more: New Bill Requires Healthful Hospital Food, Aims to Tackle Health Disparities

  1. Aramark names sustainability VP

Aramark has named Alan Horowitz vice president of sustainability to oversee the implementation and scaling of its company-wide climate strategy and the Be Well. Do Well. sustainability plan, designed to integrate triple bottom line sustainability throughout the company. Horowitz is the co-founder and former Chief Experience Officer of Green Street USA, where he was responsible for the creation and execution of the Green Street USA program, an integrated and comprehensive online experience that allows small and medium-sized enterprises to embrace, embed, and deliver their sustainability commitments. Previously, he led EHS, Compliance, Risk & Security for Microsoft’s Cloud Operations and Innovation function, the organization that designs, builds, and operates the data centers that run the Microsoft Cloud business.

Read more: Alan Horowitz Named Aramark's New Vice President Of Sustainability

Bonus: Lunchtime Solutions menu program appeals to all five senses to refine student taste buds

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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