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. Grants target small, rural school district nutrition programs
National nonprofit Action for Healthy Kids has announced that it is awarding nearly $30 million in subgrants to 264 school districts across 44 states and the District of Columbia, with funds being provided by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service. Each small and/or rural school district will receive up to $150,000 to support it in improving the nutritional quality of their meals and modernizing their operations through efforts that could include staff training programs, kitchen updates/renovations, redesigns of food preparation and service spaces and other school-district led efforts to support school meals and school nutrition professionals.
2. Hospital cafe offers local farm fresh products to go
Best Café at Waldo County General Hospital in Maine is now offering a selection of foods from Maine farms for purchase in its “Buy Local” food stand. The local food stand is being stocked by two local suppliers: Villageside Farm in Freedom and Crown O’Maine, a distributor based in North Vassalboro that distributes products from small to mid-scale food producers in the state while the cafe began offering local fare along with recipes that can be used to highlight the local ingredients.
Read more: WCGH cafeteria offers farm fresh foods to go
3. Vending boosts meal participation for Louisiana district
When students returned to in-person classes in August 2020, Louisiana’s Livingston Parish Public Schools struggled to serve lunch while adhering to social distance guidelines, so it began experimenting with vending machines as a school meal option. What began as a short-term, pandemic-era fix to alleviate cafeteria lines later transformed into a way to spark excitement and increase student participation in school meals, with school breakfast participation increaing from 10,746 to 11,023 students and school lunch from 18,669 to 19,233 students.
4. Business park launches meal service for office workers
Taking cues from collegiate campuses and the Silicon Valley corporations those campuses also inspired, the Connell Co. has added a number of amenities to its 185-acre business and hospitality campus in Berkeley Heights, N.J.. And it’s adding another to the list: a first-of-its-kind meal service for office workers at the Park, a redevelopment project at the former Connell Corporate Park. The larger rollout of Parklife Meals will give individuals the opportunity to preorder food through a mobile app. The service is starting off as a grab-and-go packaged meal model out of the site’s cafe.
5. Fuku to debut in two NFL stadiums
Fuku, the spicy fried chicken fast casual concept from celebrity chef David Chang, is expanding its concession business and partnerships with stadiums and arenas across the US. The company just added two new NFL stadium locations at TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and FedEx Field, home of the Washington Commanders.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]