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Eight elementary schools in the Anchorage School District in Alaska lack a cafeteria manager and therefore can’t serve their usual hot lunch and breakfast fare.

5 things: Lack of cafeteria managers forces schools to resort to cold shelf-stable meals

This and a grocery chain and health system partnering on a food pharmacy pilot 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. Lack of staff forces schools to serve cold shelf stable meals

Eight elementary schools in the Anchorage School District in Alaska lack a cafeteria manager and therefore can’t serve their usual hot lunch and breakfast fare. In response, they have resorted to a stopgap measure of offering free, shelf-stable meals that include items like nacho cheese, jerky, crackers, hummus, juice and shelf-stable milk.

Read more: Chicken jerky, nacho cheese and raisins: Worker shortage means 8 Anchorage elementary schools are going without hot lunch

  1. Grocer, health system partner of food pharmacy pilot

Grocery chain Food Lion and Novant Health are working in a joint effort to launch a food pharmacy pilot program at Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center in North Carolina that will provide access to nutritious food and healthy eating choices. The pilot program will span two years with Novant Health dietitians and staff determining which patients qualify to distribute nearly 3,000 boxes from Food Lion that contain shelf-stable, nutritious food.

Read more: Food Lion and Novant Health partner for Food Pharmacy Pilot Program

  1. Tax break incenting restaurant meal purchases by employers expires

A special federal tax break in place the last two years that encouraged companies to purchase meals for staff from outside restaurants expired at the end of 2022. The special pandemic-era tax break allowed companies to deduct the entire cost of meals and beverages purchased from a restaurant to encourage staff to stop working remotely and return to the office. The deduction applied only to takeout or delivery from a restaurant or meals eaten at a restaurant, but not if the food was picked up at the supermarket, party store, vending machine, or convenience store—or an in-house cafeteria.

Read more: Companies can deduct full cost of business meals on 2022 tax returns

  1. Pennsylvania grants fund campus hunger relief efforts

Cedar Crest College in Allentown will receive $20,000 as part of Pennsylvania's Hunger-Free Campus Grant program that gives $1 million in total to 28 colleges and universities throughout the state in order to end hunger on their campuses. Cedar Crest tackled student hunger through various services and programs like the Resource Pantry, which offers shelf-stable and frozen foods and personal care items, available to all students anonymously 24/7 year-round.

Read more: Pennsylvania college to receive $20k in meal grants

  1. Elior announces Q1 organic revenue gain

Paris-based Elior Group, which operates in the U.S. as Elior North America, announced an 11.7% organic increase in its first 2022-23 fiscal quarter compared with Q1 of 2021-22, which includes a 13.9% organic increase in its international operations that encompasses the North American unit. That latter figure includes a favorable currency contribution of 5.2% (US dollar gains vs the euro), and a negative scope effect of 8.7%, most of it attributable to exiting Preferred Meals in the USA. New or renewed catering and services contracts in the USA during the quarter included Boston Dynamics, Savannah State University in Georgia, Colorado State University Pueblo, Loving schools in New Mexico, Northwest New Mexico Correctional Center, Nutrition & Services For Seniors in Texas, Lifespark in Minnesota, Meals on Wheels for Contra Costa County in California, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Read more: Elior Group: First-Quarter 2022-2023 Revenue

Bonus: FM On Demand with Tara Fitzpatrick: Can we prevent or slow dementia through better senior dining?

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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