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. USDA proposes to expand CEP
The USDA has announced several actions to expand support for and access to the school meal programs, including a proposal to expand the number of schools eligible to opt into the Community Eligibility Provision CEP) by lowering the minimum identified student percentage (ISP) participation threshold from 40% to 25%. It also announced the awarding of $50 million in grants to four organizations to manage the School Food System Transformation Challenge Sub-Grants to develop healthy, appealing foods for kids' lunch trays, and opened applications for up to $10 million in Fiscal Year 2023 Team Nutrition Grants that support nutrition education for school-aged children. Interested parties are invited to comment on the CEP proposed rule during the 45-day comment period that began March 23.
Read more: USDA Announces New Investments in School Meals to Support Healthy Kids
2. College ends Mindful Monday initiative to serve less meat
After testing out the initiative this past fall semester, Pomona College Dining Services has ended Mindful Mondays, which was designed to serve less meat on Mondays in the Frank and Frary Dining Halls but had become a large topic of debate among students, many of whom mistakenly believed that the menus on those days were entirely meatless. “We tried out for a semester serving less meat on Mondays, so it was Mindful Mondays,” said General Manager of Dining Services Jose Martinez. “It was never meatless, but we had minimal animal proteins in different stations.”
Read more: Mindful Mondays are over, Pomona announces
3. LAUSD cafeteria workers back after three-day strike
The union representing thousands of Los Angeles school workers said members would return to work on Friday, March 24 after concluding a massive three-day strike that demanded increased wages and better working conditions. The Service Employees International Union Local 99, which represents about 30,000 Los Angeles school custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and other student services staff, said on social media the strike, which was supported by teachers and their union, was over, but “the fight for our schools continues.” The school district confirmed schools would be open.
Read more: Los Angeles schools will reopen Friday after workers’ massive 3-day strike for better pay and working conditions
4. Black food entrepreneurs to hold dining center takeover at UNI
Five local Black food entrepreneurs will hold a venue takeover at the University of Northern Iowa's Rialto Dining Center from March 23 to April 3, with the event open to the campus and greater local community. “Working side-by-side with UNI Dining who routinely serves 400-600 campus meals a day, with access to state-of-the-art high-volume kitchen technology, means our participating entrepreneurs get opportunities to execute their most popular recipes at a new scale,” stated Lindi Roelofse, T. Wayne Davis Chair in Entrepreneurship at UNI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, which is collaborating with Black Capital Study + Projects on the initiative. “And if all goes according to plan, each of our showcased food entrepreneurs will also have built new relationships to secure potential future catering contracts,” Roelofse added.
Read more: University of Northern Iowa announces five-day dining venue takeover by local food entrepreneurs
5. Ben E. Keith hit with cyberattack, causing temporary system shutdown
Ben E. Keith, one of the nation’s largest food distributors in the country, had to shut down its system recently after discovering unusual activity in its network. As a result, the company's delivery trucks were temporarily at a standstill leaving customers without their latest food truck deliveries.
Read more: One of nation’s largest food distributors shuts down system, impacting Oklahoma restaurants
Bonus: Fuku announces partnership with the New York Yankees and Legends Hospitality
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]