In this special edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you probably missed recently about developments regarding coronavirus and its impact on onsite dining.
Here’s your list for today:
- College declines to offer housing, meal plan refunds due to finances
Students at Georgetown College in Kentucky have not only been informed that because of coronavirus classes would be moved online until at least April and most students would need to vacate their dorms, but they were also told they shouldn’t expect a refund on housing and meal plans.
″[T]he college is not in a financial position to offer any rebates on housing or meal plans for this three-week period (or the remainder of the semester, if we are in a situation that requires us to remain online beyond the next three weeks),” wrote college President Will Jones in an email to students.
An open question is how many other schools, especially smaller ones already struggling with admissions, are in the same position…
- District offers bus route meal delivery to students
Evergreen Public Schools in Oregon has announced plans to continue to provide food to students during the closure of all its schools in response to the coronavirus crisis. Meal service will be done by making breakfast and lunch grab-and-go meals available at nine school sites and also from school buses that will deliver meals on normal morning elementary routes throughout the district. Students of all ages can wait at regular times and stops, and buses will stop to deliver both breakfast and lunch at the same time.
- Unused arena food feeds the homeless
Staples Center in Los Angeles, stuck with mountains of unused food because of the cancellation of the NBA regular season, has donated more than 7,000 pounds of it to homeless services organizations Midnight Mission and Los Angeles Mission Men’s Center, which provide shelter and services, including counseling, career preparedness, food, education and transitional housing, to local indigents.
The arena, home court of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, said that concessionaire partner Levy and its chef team delivered the food to the groups with the help of Rank and Rally warehouse teams.
- Businesses jump in to help feed kids from closed schools
In a number of communities, local restaurants and food retailers are stepping forward to provide free meals to children from closed schools. One example is a specialty grocery in North Carolina, which will be giving out free sandwiches to any child who receives free lunches within the North Carolina school system.
Other businesses around the country are donating meals for distribution at churches or social services organizations, or simply providing free bagged lunches, usually with simple sandwiches (turkey and cheese, PB&J) plus chips and small beverage, to any child, usually with no other purchase obligation. Though many of these freebies may not pass muster with federal school meal regulations, they are helping keep kids fed during the coronavirus crisis.
- Is telecommuting really going to be a thing?
“The coronavirus outbreak has triggered an anxious trial run for remote work at a grand scale [and] what we learn in the next few months could help shape a future of work that might have been inevitable, with or without a once-in-a-century public-health crisis,” writes the author of this Atlantic essay. He suggests the transition may not be as easy as some think.
“Right now, remote work isn’t working for most companies,” says Hiten Shah, an adviser to remote-work companies. “That’s because we spent the last 120 years learning how people can be productive in an office.” The 21st-century economy has already changed retail, advertising and mass distribution and perhaps it will also change work and management but first, companies will have to learn that remote work is different work.
Some of the changes include managers having to get better at judging productivity by setting and monitoring specific goals rather than using the proxy of office attendance. Meanwhile, workers will have to adopt extraordinary conscientiousness when it comes to dividing their day and will have to develop new habits.
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Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]