In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments affecting onsite dining.
Here’s your list for today:
- Eating disorders increase following COVID
The pandemic created treacherous conditions for eating disorders, leading to a surge of new cases and relapses that is not abating as restrictions are loosened and COVID-19 cases subside in many places, doctors and other specialists say. For instance, an analysis of electronic medical records data from about 80 U.S. hospitals found a 30% increase in eating disorder related admissions among adolescents aged 12-18 starting after March 2020, compared with data from the previous two years, according to an analysis published in April in the Epic Health Research Network journal.
- NYC schools to require in-person learning this fall, says mayor
New York City schools will not offer a remote option for students next fall as city officials mount a full-court press to bring all students, teachers and staff back to their campuses full-time, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced. The news comes as more than 60% of the city’s nearly one million public school students continue to learn from home full-time, with hundreds of thousands not stepping into a classroom for more than a year. Other large systems in the state are saying they will be more flexible, with Buffalo Schools announcing that students will have the choice of remote and in-person learning in the fall.
- Major Michigan hospital systems loosen visitor restrictions
Major hospital systems in Michigan are announcing loosening of visitor restrictions, including Henry Ford Hospitals, Beaumont Health, McLaren Health Care and Michigan Medicine. Restrictions remain on number of visitors, mask wearing, temperature checks on entry and access to facilities such as the cafeteria, though the Henry Ford announcement states visitors would be allowed quick trips to the bathroom or to purchase food.
- Private colleges discounting tuition more than ever in 2020-21
In another sign of financial stress on higher education institutions, the 2020 NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study of 361 private, nonprofit colleges and universities reported an estimated 53.9% average institutional tuition discount rate for first-time, full-time, first-year students in 2020-21 and 48.1% for all undergraduates, both record highs. By providing grants, fellowships, and scholarships, these institutions forgo about half the revenue they otherwise would collect if they charged all students the tuition and fee sticker price, a development that may put more pressure on auxiliary departments like campus dining to generate more revenue.
- Cereal dispensing robots debut at two universities
A joint pilot program between Kellogg’s Away from Home and automated food station vendor Chowbotics has placed cereal-dispensing Kellogg’s Bowl Bot robots at Florida State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, allowing students to get custom creations of popular cereal brands with fresh fruit and other additions. The Bowl Bot uses proprietary Chowbotics, technology to offer hundreds of custom meal and snack options from any combination of up to 22 ingredients, including a variety of milk options or Greek yogurt and toppings like fruit, nuts and seeds. Kellogg’s and Chowbotics also collaborated developing a special menu of seven pre-programmed options such as About Last Night (Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Krave Chocolate, chocolate drops, banana chips and espresso syrup), Hawaii 5-0 (Frosted Mini-Wheats, Bear Naked Fit Triple Berry Granola, pineapple, coconut and mango) and Valentine’s Day Vibes (Special K Red Berries Cereal, cocoa nibs, blueberries, strawberries and whole milk). Students place their order either through a touchscreen interface or use Chowbotics’ mobile app.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]