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5 things: Houston ISD pizza contract under fire

This and more are the things you missed for the week of Aug. 6

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. 6: 

1. Houston ISD pizza contract under fire

When Betti Wiggins left Detroit for Houston ISD last year, many in the city hailed the move to bring in the lauded director. Wiggins, at the time, called pizza and hot dogs “carnival food,” adding that “those are foods that we shouldn’t be talking about to represent a good diet that’s nutritious to our kids.” Now, some are crying foul about an $8 million contract the district school nutrition program has with Domino’s Pizza for the chain’s Smart Slice pizza. The product is formulated to meet USDA school meal regulations, but some question the move to sign such a contract given Wiggins’ earlier comments.

Read more: Under Betti Wiggins, Houston ISD Signs $8 Million Contract for Domino’s “Smart Slice” Pizza

2. UMass named best campus food for third year straight

The dining program at the University of Massachusetts has been named best campus food by The Princeton Review, the third year in a row the school has received the honor. Rounding out the top five were Bowdoin College, Virginia Tech, Cornell University and James Madison University. The rankings come from surveys of 138,000 students.

Read more: Best Campus Food

3. Houston students receive free meals

In other Houston ISD news, all of its students will be able to eat all school meals for free under the Community Eligibility Provision. The district has been offering free breakfast to all students since 2009. The district was temporarily able to serve students for free last year following the ravages of Hurricane Harvey. 

Read more: HISD to provide free meals for 2018-19 school year

4. Aramark marks partnership with Oath Pizza

Aramark has announced an investment in Oath Pizza, hoping to accelerate the chain’s growth in colleges, hospitals, B&I and sports venues. The move is unusual for Aramark, which typically enters into licensing agreements with national brands like Starbucks or Chick-fil-A, as Oath Pizza currently only has 10 units. However, Aramark entered into the exclusive, strategic partnership with the chain because it sees it as a new, niche brand that could be scaled across its portfolio, said Aramark spokesman David Freidreich.

Read more: Oath Pizza announces strategic partnership with Aramark

5. Baltimore schools expands CEP

All students will now eat free under an expansion of the Community Eligibility Provision in Baltimore County schools. The move comes after advocates urged the expansion of a pilot program that was running CEP in several schools. 

Read more: Baltimore County schools offering free meals for students who previously received discounts

Bonus: Eurest replaces beef with turkey in pilot program

Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected].

Follow her on Twitter: @bschilling_FM

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