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:
- USDA announces feeding program partnership in response to COVID-19
USDA Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced a collaboration with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, PepsiCo and others to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals to students in a limited number of rural schools closed due to COVID-19.
“USDA is working with private sector partners to deliver boxes of food to children in rural America who are affected by school closures,” Secretary Perdue said. “Right now, USDA and local providers are utilizing a range of innovative feeding programs to ensure children are practicing social distancing but are still receiving healthy and nutritious food. This whole of America approach to tackling the coronavirus leverages private sector ingenuity with the exact same federal financing as the Summer Food Service Program. USDA has already taken swift action to ensure children are fed in the event of school closures, and we continue to waive restrictions and expand flexibilities across our programs.”
- Michigan State offers to pay students to leave campus
Michigan State University is offering to refund the remaining students living on campus to leave amid heightened coronavirus concerns. Vennie Gore, MSU's vice president for auxiliary enterprises, emailed student housing residents on March 16th offering $1,120 in cash or credits toward next fall’s on-campus dining and housing costs or off-campus dining plan to any student who moves out by 5 p.m. on April 12. If students pick cash, it would be supplied through a direct deposit and minus any outstanding balance with the university.
- Gwinnett students get free hand sanitizer along with meals
Local nonprofit early childhood literacy advocacy group Preface has partnered with two Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia to give out several hundred bottles of hand sanitizer it received from an anonymous donor to district students during the free meal distribution.
“Preface has been able to bring a diverse collection of generous stakeholders to support them as we work together to keep creating educational opportunity for the next generation,” said Preface Founder/Executive Director Jonathan Wu. “This in an opportunity to make sure students are protected in the days ahead.” Each school will only have a few hundred bottles so each family will be given one bottle.
- USC limits campus dining to one location and takeout only
With all classes moved to online, students remaining on campus at the University of Southern California (USC) have been limited to on-campus dining from only one dining hall, Everybody’s Kitchen, where the cashier is limiting the line to five individuals at a time. While in line, students order food that is then put into takeaway boxes with a limit of one box per entry, though they are welcome to come back if they need more.
- Major League teams step up for idled ballpark workers
The 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams have donated a total of $30 million to help compensate stadium employees who can’t go to work because the coronavirus has shut down Major League Baseball, with each team donating $1 million. The MLB season was originally scheduled to start on March 26 but has been delayed by at least eight weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Over the past 48 hours, I have been approached by representatives of all 30 clubs to help assist the thousands of ballpark employees affected by the delay in the start of the Major League Baseball season,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Motivated by a desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each club has committed $1 million. The individual clubs will be announcing more details surrounding this support effort in their local communities.
MLB and the MLB Players Association have also donated a combined $1 million to Feeding America and Meals on Wheels to help feed students who are missing meals because their schools have been closed and people who may be isolated or quarantined because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]
For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.