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. Seattle Schools averts service worker strike with tentative agreement
Seattle Public Schools reached a tentative agreement with the union representing hundreds of district custodians, cafeteria workers, groundskeepers and security workers to avoid a strike ahead of the first day of school on Sept. 6. Details of the agreement have not been released, but employees had been calling for higher wages.
2. Montclair State launches mandatory commuter meal plan
Montclair State University in New Jersey has launched a mandatory $250 Flex Bonus meal plan this fall to full-time undergraduate commuter students taking at least 12 credits unless they choose a higher level meal plan. The meal plan, titled the Commuter Deposit Program, has students paying $250 and receiving $300 Flex Dollars per semester that can be spent at all dining, convenience stores and vending locations on campus, with unspent flex dollars rolling over from fall to spring semester and refundable at the end of the academic year.
3. Nashville Schools uses student feedback to diversify its menus
Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee has been updating its menus based on student feedback and the changing demographics of the student body in a district that now has over 140 schools and students speaking more than 100 languages. It started with the introduction of tamales but the lunch staff has also introduced lasagna, vegetarian, and vegan options, catering to the diverse tastes and dietary preferences of students.
4. Staff shortage forces use of disposable utensils in Michigan State dining halls
"One or two" dining halls at Michigan State University were still using disposable utensils two weeks into the fall semester, down from the five that had resorted to the option at the beginning of the term, according to culinary services spokesperson Cheryl Berry. She said that understaffing, particularly a shortage of student employees, is the primary cause for the use of disposable utensils in the remaining dining halls, and until the culinary services staff returns to sufficient capacity, there are not enough employees to wash and sort reusable silverware.
5. Doing his part to keep leftover food out of landfills…
In a thread posted on Reddit, one user shares how workplace lunch meetings are proving beneficial to his belly and wallet by collecting food left over after the meetings are done and taking it home. “I’ve averaged like 2 delicious meals a week for dinner by doing this,” his post says, noting that it’s usually enough to split with his wife.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]