In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed over the holidays about developments affecting onsite dining.
Here’s your list for today:
- Michigan to allow school caf workers to substitute teach
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a bill allowing non-teaching school staff to temporarily fill in as substitute teachers. The legislation allows individuals already working at schools—such as secretaries, paraprofessionals, cafeteria staff and bus drivers—to substitute teach through the end of this school year, even if they don't have relevant certifications. Of course, it’s an open question whether there are enough staffers to operate the cafeterias much less take on additional duties…
- Sodexo sues Pitt over lost revenues during COVID shutdown
Sodexo is suing the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), alleging that the school failed to honor its contracts during the pandemic and owes the foodservice contract company more than $7 million. The complaint filed in federal court said Pitt directed Sodexo to prepare for its entire student body to shelter in place in March 2020 and asked the company to have food on hand and employees ready for when students returned from spring break, which never happened, resulting in "millions of dollars in additional inventory and labor charges for which (Pitt) has refused to reimburse or otherwise compensate Sodexo, despite numerous requests,” according to the filing.
- Aramark to pilot WRI Cool Food badges on campus dishes
Aramark is introducing Cool Food Meals badges that designate dishes with a lower carbon footprint per World Resources Institute (WRI) criteria on residential dining menus at 10 U.S.-based universities this semester. The pilot program, announced last fall, will have the badges on more than 350 menu items Aramark will serve in residential dining rooms at Arizona State University, Florida State University, Slippery Rock University, St. Bonaventure University, the University of California Irvine, the University of Mississippi, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, the University of Virginia and Western Washington University.
- GW plans to restrict dining at one res hall to students only
George Washington University has submitted plans to modify a residence hall on its Foggy Bottom campus to limit what are currently public-facing dining options to those for students only. Part of the university's work to address food insecurity, the proposed change to District House would replace some of the building's retail with on-campus dining that isn’t accessible to the public. The current retail mix in the residence hall includes Chick-fil-A, Wiseguy NY Pizza, Sol Mexican Grill, Pete's Coffee, GRK Fresh Greek and Beef 'n' Bread units, some of which may be relocated nearby if the plan goes through.
- Local restaurateur feeds hospital staff after cafeteria shutters
Local restaurateur Isaac Weliver, owner and chef at Francis and Mount restaurant, has stepped in to feed staff at Franciscan Health Crawfordsville Hospital in Indiana after its cafeteria temporarily closed due to a lack of workers. “A friend of mine has another friend that worked at the hospital and called up and said, ‘Isaac these guys need some meals,'” Weliver said. “This was a way of kind of reaching all those workers that showed up to work and they didn’t have an option.” He got a donation to pay for the food and then he and his staff donated their time to make the meals.
Bonus: FM’s Top 20 stories of 2021
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]