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5 things: Former NYC Schools foodservice head arrested for bribery scheme

This and a school principal buying pizzas for kids when cafeteria staff didn’t show up are some of the stories you may have missed recently.

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:

  1. Former NYC Schools foodservice head arrested for bribery scheme

Eric Goldstein, the former head of New York City’s food program for its 1,800 Department of Education schools, has been arrested by the FBI and charged with taking bribes from suppliers and self-dealing by allegedly taking part in a meat supply company that sold products back to NYC schools. According to investigators, Goldstein took the payoffs and in exchange pressured school officials working for him to quickly sign contracts for food products often priced above the norm, and that he took a 20% stake in a meat supply company called Range Grass-Fed Beef that secured contracts to supply lunches to NYC schools.

Read more: Former Top NYC School Official Charged in Alleged Bribery Scheme With Meat Supplier

  1. Bused in workers, vending carts help fill staff gap at NFL game

With a full-capacity crowd for the first time in 20 months at the Sept. 20 Monday night NFL game at Green Bay's Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers and food & beverage partner Delaware North compensated for an onsite staff shortage by busing workers in from St. Louis, Chicago and Minneapolis, though even with that influx, some concession stands were still closed. In addition, Delaware North asked area employers if they'd allow employee volunteer days to staff stands ordinarily manned by non-profit organization volunteers, and it also deployed vending carts in the concourse near bowl entrances to fill service gaps as these units require fewer workers and can be moved to where they are most needed.

Read more: Packers say first home game operations went well amid switch to digital tickets, concession worker shortage

  1. School principal orders pizza for kids when cafeteria staff was out

After its cafeteria staff didn't show up for work one day recently as a result of a staff shortage, Principal Stephanie Andrewlevich of the S. Weir Mitchell Elementary School in Philadelphia decided to order pizza from local restaurants for her 400 students, while teachers were asked to assist with buying water and juice from local stores. Unfortunately, the pizzas only arrived later in the day, forcing many students to go the whole day without eating. The cafeteria staff was back at work the next day, and breakfast and lunch were served without any issues.

Read morePrincipal Bought Pizza For 400 Students When Cafeteria Staff Didn't Show Up

  1. Student worker shortage, background check delays hamper IU Dining

Staffing issues and a record-breaking freshman class are causing long wait times and closed locations at dining outlets on the Indiana University campus. "You would assume that, with a record freshman class, perhaps the amount of students that wanted to work would be commensurate with the size of that class when compared to, say, 2019 or before," observed IU Residential Programs and Services Executive Director Luke Leftwich. "That's not the case. Interest in student jobs is down across all of the spaces, whether it's rec sports, whether it's dining, whether it's in the housing areas." Compounding the problem is delays with processing background checks for worker candidates that are being done by a third-party company.

Read more: IU Dining struggles with supply, staffing; hungry students say they're fed up

  1. Eskenazi expands fresh food market to help food-insecure patients

To meet patient and staff needs in a community considered a food desert, Eskenazi Health in Indiana has expanded its onsite Fresh For You Market from its initial location inside its cafeteria to a location just outside its main entrance. The space includes a kitchen and neighborhood-type grocery store, and the hospital issues vouchers to patients who may face food insecurity.

Read more: Eskenazi expands food market to meet patient, staff, community needs

Bonus: Take a tour of Providence College’s hands-on new dining hall

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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