In this special edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments regarding coronavirus and its impact on onsite dining.
Here’s your list for today:
- Study: After-school nutrition program counts were rising before COVID
Participation in afterschool nutrition programs was on the rise even before the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). It found that more than 1.4 million children had access to suppers and snacks on an average day last October through the programs run by the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the National School Lunch Program, an increase of more than 86,900 participants from the previous year.
- Union alleges labor contract violation due to reduced dining worker hours
SEIU, the union that represents dining service workers at the University of Pittsburgh, is charging that the university and dining services contractor Compass Group are violating its labor agreement by cutting hours for employees as the union contract guarantees workers 40 hours of work a week to “the extent that that is at all possible.”
Joe Beaman, director of dining services, says the COVID pandemic has affected how many hours are available for workers given reduced building access and use that led to reduced late-night and weekend dining hours and temporarily closed dining locations.
- Aramark cuts sports and conference center staff in Kansas City and Cleveland
Aramark has informed state regulators in Missouri that it will permanently lay off more than 550 workers at Kauffman Stadium and the Kansas City Convention Center; in a separate announcement, it said it will temporarily or permanently lay off 358 of its employees at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland. The announcements are the latest in the continuing fallout across the sports/entertainment and convention/conference industries of the continuing impact of COVID-related lockdowns.
While Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals did play at the Kauffman this season, it was without fans in attendance. Meanwhile, Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse—home of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cleveland Monsters minor league hockey team—has largely remained closed since mid-March.
- Houston ISD partially reopens for in-person instruction
The Houston Independent School District, one of the largest in the country, has reopened for in-person learning for some of its nearly 200,000 students. The district released a 26-page reopening plan and a 133-page communicable disease plan that includes guidelines for the lunchroom that will for the most part have kids eating lunch in the cafeteria, the classroom and outside, all contingent on how many students return for face-to-face instruction. Parents will be prohibited from dropping off lunches or personal items, however.
- UNM launches campus food delivery service
The University of New Mexico (UNM) has instituted a mobile order and campus delivery service available via the GrubHub app from the campus Subway and Mandalay dining outlets between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays. The orders are delivered within 15 to 30 minutes using customized carts. There is a $2.50 service fee per order.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]