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5 things: Ex-NYC officials charged with school meal fraud

This and more are the things you missed for the week of Aug. 21.

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 Aug. 21:

1. Ex-NYC officials charged with school meal fraud

Two former leaders of a Brooklyn-based chain of Yeshivas have been charged with fraud and conspiracy for allegedly pocketing nearly $3 million in federal subsidizes for school suppers. The men are charged with filing fraudulent documents saying children ate school-provided suppers for which the schools should be reimbursed. While many students did eat free or reduced-priced breakfasts and lunches, the suit claims the number of suppers actually served was greatly inflated. The two men pleaded not guilty.  

Read more: Ex-school officials accused of embezzling $3M from federal lunch program

2. App provides lunch delivery at Texas schools

Freshmen at Killeen ISD in Texas are no longer allowed to leave campus for lunch, and one local businessman is taking advantage of that. He’s now promoting his app, DoMyShoppingForMe, for use by students to order food from area restaurants, which will then be delivered to the schools. Meal delivery at schools has become controversial recently, with many administrators saying it’s a safety issue because they don’t know who is coming on and off campuses. For school nutrition programs, it also cuts into their business. DoMyShoppingForMe’s founder says his app will help “take some of the pressure off the cafeterias.” I’m not sure if the cafeterias are in need of that help or not, but as with many things technology-based, this is certainly a new form of competition that shouldn’t be ignored.

Read more: Killeen students can have lunch delivered to school with new app

3. Salad-making robot creates custom meals in 60 seconds

Keeping on the technology front, this new salad-making machine will create a customized salad in 60 seconds. Sally the Salad Robot (which was on display at this year’s NRA Show) creates custom salads with up to 21 seasonal ingredients. Customers simply make their selections on a touchscreen and canisters inside the machine drop selected ingredients into the salad. Customers love being able to customize their meals, but will taking the human interaction out of the equation hurt the experience?

Read more: This Salad Machine Will Serve You A Custom Meal In 60 Seconds

4. Chinese man detained over negative comments on hospital food
A man in China was detained after making negative comments about the food served in a retail outlet of a local hospital. The man, who supposedly used to manage the café before the hospital was relocated, was charged with lying and disturbing public order. He was released after the security bureau found that while his statements were not true, the punishment was not in line with the laws.

Read more: Man detained for complaining about food released, police punished

5. Is grocery delivery a threat to dining services?
Several colleges have recently opened grocery stores, or stores offering grocery-type items, and c-stores have long offered many grocery staples for students living on campus to purchase. As the grocery industry is increasingly looking into online ordering and delivery, will this make an impact on college dining programs? This story from the student paper at the University of Arizona looks at several grocery delivery options available to students.

Read more: Grocery delivery increases food options for students on campus

Bonus: Aramark’s 20 by 20 initiative exceeding target goals

Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @bschilling_FM

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