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A newly-signed state law in Oklahoma that takes effect on Nov. 1, 2023 will allow restaurants and school cafeterias to donate leftover food without liability

5 things: New Oklahoma law makes it easier for schools to donate leftover food

This and a major merger in the healthcare market 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.    New Oklahoma law makes it easier for schools to donate leftover food

A newly-signed state law in Oklahoma that takes effect on Nov. 1, 2023 will allow restaurants and school cafeterias to donate leftover food without liability, though it does allow for lawsuits if the restaurant or cafeteria willfully donates spoiled food. The bill's author, Rep. Anthony Moore, says a lack of protection has stopped good food from being donated to those who need it, and he hopes the new bill helps address food shortages in the state.

Read more: Newly-signed State Law Allows Restaurants, School Cafeterias to Donate Leftover Food Without Liability

 2.    Kaiser Permanente to acquire Geisinger

Kaiser Permanente has agreed to acquire Geisinger Health in a deal that will make the latter the first to join Risant Health, a new nonprofit organization created by the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals that aims to expand and accelerate the adoption of value-based care in "diverse, multi-payer, multi-provider, community-based health system environments," according to an April 26 news release from Kaiser Permanente and Geisinger. Risant Health plans to acquire four or five more health systems and get to a total revenue of $30 billion to $35 billion over the next five years, officials told the Wall Street Journal.

Read more: Kaiser Permanente acquiring Geisinger to launch Risant Health

 3.    College labor union activity surging

In 2022, the U.S. saw the highest number of work stoppages at higher education institutions in 15 years, and since March 2022, 19 bargaining units representing students have been recognized by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Since 2021, the NLRB has certified nearly 20 different bargaining units comprised of graduate and undergraduate students employed by private academic institutions with the units including graduate teaching and research assistants; resident and housing advisors; and students employed within campus dining services.

Read more: Union Activity In Higher Education Reached Historic Levels In 2022 And Beyond

 4.    Healthcare Services Group dining revenues fall slightly in first quarter

FM Top 50 firm Healthcare Services Group, Inc. reported $223.7 million in revenues for its dining & nutrition segment for the first quarter of 2023, accounting for the majority of the company's $417.2 million revenue total for the quarter, which also includes revenues from its housekeeping & laundry services. The first quarter total for the dining/nutrition unit was down slightly from the $225.1 million it generated in the first quarter of 2022 and from the $226 million generated in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Read more: Healthcare Services Group, Inc. Reports Q1 2023 Results

 5.    Chartwells to take over Cal Poly campus dining

The Cal Poly Corporation, which operates support services like dining at California Polytechnic State University, has announced it will hand over Campus Dining’s daily operations to Chartwells Higher Education Group beginning July 1. The goal of the switch, according to information Cal Poly Corporation provided to ASI Student Government, is to prevent Campus Dining from having to raise food prices by an additional 10%, even though meal plan prices will still increase 8-9% between the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. Chartwells has already been partnering with Cal Poly Campus Dining since 2017, when it started to provide “management and consulting services.”

Read more: Cal Poly Corporation passes Campus Dining operations to private food service group

Bonus: Nine contract firms top the Humane Society's Protein Sustainability Scorecard

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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