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:
1. No Kid Hungry gives SNF $200K for meal programs
The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) has received $200,000 from No Kid Hungry to support the Foundation’s COVID-19 emergency feeding grant program. SNF grants are assisting school meal programs that mobilized grab-and-go meal service for students when COVID-19 forced school closures nationwide.
“SNF has heard from school nutrition professionals across the country who desperately need support as they continue their work to combat the spread of hunger throughout their communities,” said SNA/SNF CEO Patricia Montague, CAE. “Schools urgently need carts and coolers for curbside service, packaging materials for grab-and-go meals and Personal Protective Equipment for staff. This new partnership with No Kid Hungry will allow SNF to help more schools expand their emergency meal services for students through the summer and to meet needs in the fall.”
Read more: SNF Awarded $200K by No Kid Hungry
2. Virginia Tech joins schools planning to end fall term before Thanksgiving
Joining a number of other prominent colleges and universities, Virginia Tech’s residential fall semester will begin in August and end before the Thanksgiving break, the university announced. It also plans to reduce the number of students living in on-campus housing in Blacksburg, from a fall 2019 estimate of 10,400 students to 9,100 students this fall, in part to accommodate those who may need to be quarantined. Rooms will be restricted to single and double occupancy.
Meanwhile, plans for on-campus dining also remain in flux and dependent on state guidelines. To date, students with dining plans will be able to pick up to-go food and make mobile orders on campus.
For a typical student, at least one-third of courses will be in-person, with the rest online, Tech said.
3. Autonomous vehicles to deliver nonprofit meals in DC
The Yards waterfront development in Washington, DC and the Optimus Ride self-driving technology systems company have announced the launch of a fleet of three autonomous vehicles that will be used to deliver food directly and contact-free to families in southeast DC who are struggling with food insecurity and access to food amid COVID-19.
Developed by Neighborhood Restaurant Group and the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, the “One-Week Boxes” consist of enough nutritious, prepared foods and raw ingredients to support a full week’s worth of meals for an individual that sustains a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet.
For The Yards, Optimus Ride has designed, built and started the operation of a self-driving system that will begin by providing essential logistics services for transporting prepared foods and groceries—initially for nonprofit meals and eventually for commercial food delivery services for the tenants at The Yards—and transition to people-moving as COVID-19 subsides.
4. Lunch in the classroom among district’s fall contingency plans
It’s the first day of school in Mount Olive Township in New Jersey, and masked students wait in line for their initial test: a mandatory temperature screening. Those who pass are allowed to enter the building and follow designated one-way hallways to their classrooms, possibly a gymnasium or an auditorium to maintain strict social distancing requirements.
Lunch will be served in the classroom today, just like every day for the foreseeable future. Every teacher wears a mask. Cleaning crews are omnipresent. And an isolation zone awaits, just in case the coronavirus creeps in after first period.
For now, this September day is theoretical, one of four scenarios in the district’s wide-ranging proposal for reopening its buildings next school year. Yet barring a vaccine for COVID-19, many of these measures are likely to become a reality for the district’s 4,600 students, Superintendent Robert Zywicki said.
5. NFL stadium to host drive-in films with online ordered food delivered to cars
As traditional movie theaters sit dark, the drive-in theater may see a resurgence. Whether it is people just wanting to get out of the house, a sense of nostalgia or just something fun to do, the idea of watching a show from the car sounds fun.
While there are some old-school drive-in movie theaters, other locations are looking to transform their locations into these experiences. One very notable one is Hard Rock Stadium in Florida, which in partnership with the Miami Dolphins will host classic Miami Dolphin games and classic motion pictures while stadium concessionaire Centerplate will be offering food and beverage options. Using an online ordering and payment system, all those tasty treats will be delivered directly to the car.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]