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Two bills introduced this Congressional session shed light on the opposing camps fighting over the milk served in school cafeterias.

5 things: Congress battles over school milk policy with separate bills

This and USC planning to replace compostable takeout containers with reusable metal containers 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.    Separate Congressional bills address different school milk priorities

Two bills introduced this Congressional session shed light on the opposing camps fighting over the milk served in school cafeterias. The Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2023 would dictate the return of whole milk to school menus, overturning a ban dating back to 2010, while the Addressing Digestive Distress in Stomachs of Our Youth (ADD Soy) Act would require that a dairy milk alternative be made available for students who request it.

Read more: Two Bills Ignite Congressional Battle Over School Milk Choice

 2.    USC to replace compostable takeout containers with reusable metal ones

In partnership with reusable container company USEFULL, USC Sustainability and USC Hospitality at the University of Southern California is piloting a reusable metal container program for takeout orders at residential dining halls beginning Oct. 16. The program will replace the compostable clamshell containers the dining hall currently provides for takeout with reusable stainless steel containers. The reusable container program will begin as a test, but the university hopes to implement it full time.

Read more: Reusable containers coming to dining halls

 3.    Updated Costco HQ has modern cafeteria and top floor deli with outdoor deck

The latest addition to Costco Wholesale Corp.’s corporate headquarters in Issaquah, Wash. incorporates a main cafeteria on the ground floor offering breakfast and lunch options galore at five stations, as well as access to the back deck overlooking the forested area through which Issaquah Creek flows. In addition, a deli on the ninth floor serves items like sandwiches, salads and grab and go snacks and beverages, and offers both indoor perimeter seating and outdoor decks where bistro-style seating will provide views over Lake Sammamish and the surrounding mountains.

Read more: Check Out Costco's New HQ Addition — Contours, Cafeterias, Cubicles, and Cardio

 4.    Renovated hospital cafeteria can now prepare dishes onsite

Thanks to an anonymous donor, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center in South Dakota has opened its renovated Cafe 1325—the eatery’s first update in over 50 years—with new seating arrangements and decor as well as a change in how and what food is served. In the past, food was brought in from a kitchen about a block away but is now prepared on-site and includes a new “heritage station” with selections from diverse cultures—including from recipes submitted by staff—a grill station and new offerings such as breakfast pizza made possible by a dual conveyor oven that lets staff set speeds to offer hot sandwiches and personal-pan pizzas in four minutes.

Read more: Avera McKennan unveils big improvements to hospital cafeteria

 5.    Local buffalo to be on lunch menu at five South Dakota schools

Thanks in part to a grant, schoolchildren at five South Dakota schools will enjoy beef and buffalo sourced from local ranches and cattle operations for their school lunches. “Many of these schools already serve donated beef, but we wanted to have a more consistent source for the schools,” says CEO Jayme Murray of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Buffalo Authority Corporation. “It’s always been tough with buffalo because the price is so much higher than beef, to keep the price point down. Schools have money to buy food; why can’t they use that money to buy local food?”

Read more: South Dakota students eat local beef, bison for school lunch

Bonus: Walk Thru Bru concept brings grab and go to stadium beverage sales

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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