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5 things: Army delays dining facility upgrades, looks to expand commissaries instead

This and Jefferson County Public Schools seeing 35% and 37% increases in breakfast and lunch participation, respectively, due to CEP implementation 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.    Army delays dining facility upgrades, looks to expand commissaries instead

The Army has delayed a program to solicit restaurant partners to help run base dining facilities and instead plans to get soldiers greater access to food already available on posts, service officials said. The new plan will include allowing soldiers to spend money in commissaries that was earmarked for dining facilities, according to leaders with Army Materiel Command.

Read more: Army delays plan to improve dining facilities, looks to expand access to commissaries for now

 2.    CEP leads to big meal participation increases for Jefferson County Schools

Jefferson County (Louisville) Public Schools (JCPS) in Kentucky saw an average daily breakfast participation increase of 35% and a daily lunch participation increase of 37% in August and September this year. “A lot of that has to do with our district going district-wide community eligible," explained Nutrition Services Executive Administrator Terina Edington. JCPS adopted the federal community eligibility provision (CEP) option for this school year that allows all students, regardless of family income, to be eligible to get free breakfast and lunch at school.

Read more: Louisville schools celebrate National School Lunch Week

 3.    Vanderbilt Dining launches meal pickup program for sick students

Vanderbilt University Campus Dining recently launched the Get Well Meals program, allowing sick students to pick up meals for themselves or to send someone to pick up meals for them. The program is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and each meal costs a meal swipe with pick-up available between 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, requiring two hours’ advance notice.

Read more: Campus Dining launches Get Well Meals program for text-based meal pickup

 4.    Chicago hospital opens 24/7 “no questions, no ask” food pantry on its premises

Coinciding with World Food Day on Oct. 16, Loretto Hospital in Chicago opened Community Cupboard, a 24/7 food pantry within its premises that is the first of three to be located in the hospital. It offers a range of basic food items and toiletries and, since it is located within a hospital, it remains accessible around the clock, "so they can go right over to the food pantry, get what they need, no questions, no ask," said Loretto Hospital CEO Tesa Anewishki.

Read more: Innovative Loretto Hospital food pantry addresses local food insecurity

 5.    Loyola Marymount dining workers to get $8.40 hourly increase by 2027

UNITE HERE Local 11 members at Loyola Marymount University in California have voted almost unanimously to ratify a new five-year Sodexo contract that is starting retroactively in 2022 and ending in 2027. By the end of the contract, all employees will receive $8.40 in total hourly pay increases, with the lowest paid-employees earning $25.95 in hourly pay by 2026.

Read more: UNITE HERE Local 11 members vote to ratify contract, ending 18 months of negotiations

Bonus: Primary Children's Hospital offers scratch cooking, plenty of options

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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