Each Friday I compile a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the news that week and why you should care about them.
Here’s your list for the week of Jan. 14:
1. Gov report: Millions of college students are hungry
During the past year or so, Food Management has written a lot about food insecurity on college campuses. Many colleges are opening food pantries or at-cost grocery stores to help address the problem. And now a new government report has found that millions of college students are food insecure, meaning they lack adequate nutritious food. The report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) looked at 31 research reports and found that 22 of those reports estimated that more than 30 percent of college students are food insecure. The report was the result of a letter written by four senators last year asking about the issue.
Read more: Millions of College Students Are Going Hungry
2. Child nutrition program funded through March
As the government shutdown continues, the USDA has announced that child nutrition programs will now have enough funding through March. Previously, the time frame was through at least January. The USDA in a memo late last week said it had provided state agencies with additional funds to cover programs through March. Those programs include the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
3. District shrinks menu due to gov shutdown
Even though the USDA has provided funding to cover school meal programs through March, one school district in North Carolina is nevertheless cutting its menu due to the shutdown. Vance County Schools, along the Virginia border, is cutting fresh produce, bottled water and juice and ice cream. It is also reducing entrée options to one.
Read more: School lunches shrink as one NC school district feels heat from government shutdown
4. NYC hospitals offering Meatless Monday
All 11 of the nation’s largest city’s public hospitals will now be offering Meatless Monday programs in their cafeterias. The initiative is being managed by New York City’s Health + Hospitals division, whose president said this about the program: “We want to empower our patients to live their healthiest lives by introducing them to healthier foods that they may choose once they’re discharged.” The program, which kicked off last week, is offering items like black bean soup and spaghetti with a vegan Bolognese sauce on Mondays. The hospitals will continue to offer meat-containing items on Monday as well.
Read more: All New York City Public Hospitals Now Serving Vegan Meatless Monday Meals
5. University giving meals to Coast Guard during shutdown
Roger Williams University has offered free meals to active-duty Coast Guard members during the government shutdown. On Tuesday, those Coast Guard members could dine at the one of the campus’s dining halls from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A special family-style meal was developed to showcase the sense of community dining services wanted to share with those Coast Guard members who are part of the larger university community.