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5 Things
school-meals-coronavirus.jpg John Moore / Staff / Getty Images News
The Woburn school district in Massachusetts says it has seen an unexpected and dramatic drop in outstanding school meal debt since the beginning of the COVID crisis.

5 things: District’s meal debt plummets despite coronavirus’s economic impact

This and the University of Alabama requiring resident students to purchase meal plans next year are among the things you missed for the week of October 12.

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 October 12:

  1. University of Alabama to require meal plans of all resident students

The University of Alabama’s Bama Dining program has announced that, beginning in the 2021-2022 academic year, all on-campus resident students will be required to purchase the Silver 125 meal plan. The announcement follows the university’s renewal of its dining services contract with Aramark. Freshmen who live on campus will be given the option to purchase either the Silver 125 plan or the somewhat more expensive All Access meal plan.

Read more: Meal plans now required for all on-campus students

  1. School district unexpectedly sees dramatic meal debt drop despite COVID

The Woburn school district in Massachusetts says it has seen an unexpected and dramatic drop in outstanding school meal debt since the beginning of the COVID crisis. Because of the economic impact of pandemic-related closures, the district expected the debt—pegged at around $70,000 last spring—to remain largely unchanged as families struggled with finances, but instead, the debt has shrunk to around $26,000. School officials theorize that with families now all receiving free school meals, they have been able to use the money saved to incrementally pay off their school meal debt, which in many individual cases wasn’t particularly large.

Read more: School cafeteria debt dropped dramatically in recent months

  1. Dropbox goes “virtual first” with existing spaces available for collaboration

Dropbox Inc. has announced that it will become a “Virtual First” company and make remote work the primary, day-to-day default for its employees. To help address isolation concerns among employees relegated to online contact with peers, the company plans to use existing real estate and other flexible spaces it’s calling Dropbox Studios to facilitate in-person collaboration.

Read more: Dropbox Makes Remote Work Permanent in ‘Virtual First’ Shift

  1. University of Akron closes dining hall after employee test COVID-positive

The University of Akron (UA) shut down its Union Market dining hall on Oct. 12 after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The venue, located in the school’s Jean Hower Taber Student Union, underwent a deep cleaning and was scheduled to reopen on Oct. 19, per the UA dining services website.

Read more: University of Akron shuts down dining hall after employee tests positive for COVID-19

  1. Sunday Night Football mobile grill visits hospital to feed staff

NBC Sports brought its SNF Grill mobile concession stand to Dignity Health Santa Cruz in Northern California on Thursday, Oct. 15 as part of its lead-in to the Oct. 18 Sunday Night Football telecast of the NFL game between the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in nearby Santa Clara. SNF Grill regularly visits local sites to feed essential workers in cities where NBC telecasts Sunday night games. For the Oct. 18 game, the Grill will serve stadium favorites from Levi Stadium concessions company Levy Restaurants.

Read more: Sunday Night Football’s mobile grill to feed medical staff at Dignity Health Santa Cruz

Bonus: School Nutrition Association survey: 54% of school meal programs saw financial loss in 2019-2020

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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