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. Free summer meals saw 45% drop last year
The number of U.S. children who received free summer lunches on an average day in July 2022 dropped considerably compared to the previous year, according to a report released by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). On an average day in last July, almost 3 million children received a free lunch through the federal Summer Nutrition Program, which gives free meals to low-income children. That was down 44.5%, or 2.4 million children, compared to July 2021.
2. Survey looks at student attitudes about campus food and wellness programs
The spring Student Voice survey on health and wellness found that college students see room for improvement when it comes to campus dining and wellness programs. A little over half of students agree they have access to campus dining halls when they need and want food, but a quarter of respondents say their college or university is getting dining food hall options right, and just 15% are enthusiastic about their campus’s wellness class selection.
3. Elior reports Q3 organic revenue increase of 8.8%
Elior Group, the French parent of FM Top 50 firm Elior North America, reported an organic revenue increase of 8.8%—20% year-on-year—in its third quarter of fiscal 2023. The multinational company does not break out results from individual geographic operating units but did show that revenues from its contract catering operations worldwide grew 3% (9.4% organic) in the quarter.
4. Healthcare Services Group reports slight Q2 revenue gain in its dining unit
FM Top 50 firm Healthcare Services Group, Inc. reported revenue of $418.9 million for the three months ended June 30, 2023, with $228.1 million of it coming from its dining & nutrition unit. That's up 2% from the $223.7 million it reported for the previous quarter and a 1% gain from the $225.8 million the unit posted in Q2 last year.
5. Reddit image of school cafeteria trash can goes viral
One Redditor recently sounded the alarm about a problem in their school’s lunchroom. The user, who claimed to be a night custodian, shared a photo of what they found in the trash during their shift: a large garbage can piled with individual milk cartons. “About half of this 50-gallon trash can is full of perfectly good cartons of milk,” they said, adding in a comment that the milk was still ice cold. “Expiration date is in two weeks. Schools waste a lot of food.”
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]