Each Friday Food Management compiles a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the onsite foodservice news that week and why you should care about them.
Here’s your list for the week of July 27:
- Compass North America revenues down 45% in Q3
Compass Group PLC, the London-based parent of Compass North America, the largest foodservice contractor in the U.S., reported an organic revenue drop of 44% in the company’s fiscal third quarter compared with the previous year, with the North America unit seeing a drop of 45%. The year-to-date drop through three quarters was 14% for the group and 13% for North America.
“Our business in North America has a good sector balance between Business & Industry, Education, Healthcare, Sports & Leisure and Defence, Offshore & Remote,” the company release announcing the results stated. “Due to the different containment measures at the state level in the US, our operations in North America have been slightly more open than in Europe. As sites reopen, we have entered constructive conversations with clients to recover the higher costs of operating with enhanced Health & Safety protocols and lower participation rates. This, combined with more flexible labour laws, has allowed us to adjust our cost structure and start to rebuild the operating margin.”
Read more: Q3 Trading update
- SNA Urges Passage of School Meal Legislation
With food insecurity rates among households with children sharply elevated, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) is urging Congress to pass legislation to expand access to school meals during the 2020-21 school year and relieve crippling regulatory, operational and financial challenges for school meal programs.
Among the specific pieces of legislation SNA is supporting are The Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act, which would guarantee every child has safe access to healthy school meals during the 2020-21 school year, and the Child Nutrition Relief Act of 2020, which would allow USDA to extend all COVID-19 school feeding waivers through June 30, 2021.
“Extending these waivers will allow school meal programs to seamlessly continue grab-and-go meal pick up for distance learners, serve meals to students in the classroom or adjust meal service in the event of a sudden COVID-19 school closure,” SNA said in a recent letter to the US Department of Agriculture.
SNA has also urged Congress to provide much needed emergency financial relief to school meal programs to cover costs associated with COVID-19 closures.
“With so many families struggling to put food on the table during the pandemic, millions more students will depend on consistent, daily access to school meals this fall,” said SNA President Reggie Ross. “Congress must act to ensure school meal programs can meet this need in any setting and respond nimbly to abrupt changes. Providing school meals at no charge to all students is the safest, most effective way to serve students and combat childhood hunger during the pandemic.”
Read more: SNA Urges Passage of School Meal Legislation
- Study shows most colleges plan to hold in-person classes this fall
The BeenVerified research organization analyzed data from more than 1,200 private and public four-year universities across the country and found that most still plan for students to be on-campus this fall—especially private universities—while most top-rated academic universities are planning online learning or a hybrid model of in-person and distance learning. Also, despite the economic upheaval in the aftermath of the pandemic, most top schools have no plans to freeze or reduce tuition in the fall—except for historically Black colleges.
Among top take-aways from the data analysis: most U.S. colleges and university programs do not plan to offer virtual classes this fall. The data shows just over half the nation’s colleges and universities still plan to offer in-person learning, 33% plan a combination of in-person and distance learning, 11% will be online only, and 4% of schools are still reviewing.
Private universities are, by a wide margin, planning to be on-campus this fall compared to public universities. Nearly 40% of public universities are planning a hybrid model, which aims for a combination of distance learning with smaller on-campus class sizes, compared to 28% of private schools.
Read more: Coronavirus and US College Reopenings: Most Plan In-Person-Only Classes This Fall (But Not Top Universities)
- Ithaca College bars students from travel advisory states from campus
Ithaca College has announced that any students who have been living in states on the New York Travel Advisory list over the summer will not be allowed to live in residence halls, engage in campus activities or attend in-person classes until their state is taken off the list. The restrictions also apply to students from those states who are living off-campus in the fall.
The announcement stated that “students who have not remained in New York during the summer and whose permanent address is in a state on New York’s mandatory quarantine list will need to take their classes remotely until the state of their permanent address is removed from the New York mandatory quarantine list.”
Students from outside of these states would be permitted to resume in-person classes after completing coronavirus testing and quarantining in their homes for two weeks before returning to campus, per the state order. “Unfortunately, the college simply does not have the resources or infrastructure to manage quarantining either on-campus or off-campus for the large number of students affected by this order,” the university said.
Read more: Beginning the Academic Year: Student Move-In Information and Health, Safety, and Prevention on Campus
- 2020 NACS Show cancelled
As part of daily communications with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) was informed that the 2020 NACS Show, scheduled for October 11-14 in Las Vegas, cannot be held due to the ongoing pandemic. The annual event is a showcase of convenience retailing products and services.
In its place, NACS is planning a virtual offering with details to follow, said NACS President/CEO Henry Armour.
“We invested in new platforms that we intended to roll out in 2021 to supplement our robust education and networking offer,” he announced. “We have fast-tracked implementation of this comprehensive series of virtual offerings to support our industry’s pressing need to stay connected and to bring our community together until we are able to resume in-person events.”
Read more: 2020 NACS Show Canceled
Bonus: Imitation Starbucks coffee, food trucks and increased reimbursable meals add revenue streams to child nutrition programs amid the pandemic
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]