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After a nearly three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, salad bars are making a return to school lunch in the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in Virginia, one of the largest public school districts in the country.

5 things: Salad bars coming back to Fairfax County Public Schools

This and a new rotating-concept dining venue for downtown Cincinnati workers operated by Parkhurst Dining 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. Salad bars coming back to Fairfax County schools

After a nearly three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, salad bars are making a return to school lunch in the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in Virginia, one of the largest public school districts in the country. The school system's plan is to bring them back in phases over the next few months, starting with Title One schools. FCPS Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid said the decision to bring back the cafeteria salad bars comes in response to feedback FCPS got from families, community organizations like Real Food For Kids, and even students themselves.

Read more: 'Excited it's back': salad bars return to school lunch in Fairfax Co. after pandemic pause

  1. Parkhurst opens multi-concept market in downtown Cincinnati

Downtown Cincinnati office workers have a new dining option with the debut of the Atrium Food Market inside of Omnicare Center office complex. Operated by FM Top 50 contract firm Parkhurst Dining, the Market features four stations that will rotate every two weeks among 11 local dining concepts, serving up made-to-order dishes alongside grocery staples and to-go prepared meals and packaged goods.

Read more: Atrium Food Market opens in downtown Cincinnati, overseen by chefs Derek Dos Anjos and Josh Campbell

  1. Partnership rolls out grab and go stations in Tucson school district

A partnership consisting of national nonprofit GENYOUth, Arizona's Super Bowl Host Committee, the PepsiCo Foundation and district leaders from the Tucson Unified School District have launched the Mission 57: End Student Hunger campaign, which is looking to set up 57 'Grab and Go' meal stations and packages designed to serve as an option for students who may not want to wait in long lines inside the cafeteria to eat their first meal of the day. "There's a stigma felt sometimes by students who rely on free or reduced price school meals," PepsiCo Foundation President C.D. Glin observes. "Having these grab-and-go carts, having this equipment that's available that meets students where they are (as) they're getting off the bus...there's no stigma. There's no long lines. It's about access, and that access is going to increase participation."

Read more: Pepsi, national nonprofit partners donate grab-and-go meal stations to TUSD schools

  1. Report: almost a third of rural hospitals at risk of closing soon

The healthcare market is facing a major crisis as more than 200 rural hospitals are at immediate risk of closure because they aren’t making enough money to cover the rising cost of providing care, and their low financial reserves leave them little margin for error, according to a recent report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform. Overall, more than 600 rural hospitals—nearly 30% of rural hospitals nationwide—are at risk of closing in the near future, the report adds.

Read more: Hundreds of Hospitals Could Close Across Rural America

  1. Hospitality firm plans food hall in Houston’s Hobby Airport

Airport hospitality firm LaTrelle’s has secured a $334 million contract with the City of Houston to renovate and revitalize Hobby Airport’s core dining options, with construction starting later this year in the airport's more than 17,000 sq.ft. of restaurant space. LaTrelle’s has tapped a bevy of beloved Houston restaurants to take up residence there, including Common Bond, The Rustic, Velvet Taco, Dish Society, Pinks Pizza and Fat Cat Creamery, which will join established concepts Peet’s Coffee, Jersey Mike’s, Wendy’s and Dunkin’.

Read more: Hobby Airport to Get Its Own Food Hall, New Houston-Centric Restaurants — Airport Dining Is Changing For Good

Bonus: Five plant-based trends to follow in college dining

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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