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:
- Close to 90% of K-8 schools offer hybrid or full-time in-person classes, government says
Close to 90% of public K-8 schools offered hybrid or full-time in-person instruction by the end of March, the government reports, with 54% open in-person on a full-time basis, according to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, who added in a recent video interview that he expects that the nation’s schools will most likely be open for full-time, in-person classes for all students by September.
- MIT looks to place minority-owned dining concepts in student center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will provide opportunities for up to 10 local, minority-owned businesses to distribute in its Stratton Student Center as either on-site vendors or suppliers after incubating at Commonwealth Kitchen (CWK), a non-profit food business incubator focused on creating a “just, equitable, sustainable food economy.” The concepts, which will replace three previous vendors—Cafe Spice, Shawarma Shack, and Shinkansen Bullet Train—will be determined through student surveys and the interest of the preferred concepts to participate.
- Major Michigan school districts see dramatic drop in meal counts
Detroit Public Schools Community District served about 2.2 million meals to students this school year compared to 9.6 million last school year, reflecting a trend across the state. For instance, Grand Rapids has served 863,169 meals so far this year, compared with 2.8 million last year and Lansing Public Schools has served 1.2 million meals, compared with 2.6 million in the 2018-2019 school year, according to the latest data provided by the district.
- Automated store opens in San Diego high-rise
In another sign of the rapid spread of autonomous retail, cashier-less checkout startup Accel Robotics is opening a 1,500-square-foot automated Valet Market store stocking locally sourced items such as produce, baked goods and dairy inside the Vantage Pointe high-rise residential building in San Diego. The store will be open to the public during the day but only available to residents after business hours and will offer “last step” delivery to Vantage Pointe residents. In addition to operating its own Valet Market, Accel said it will also be announcing partnerships with other U.S. brands, including universities, sports venues, military bases and fuel stations.
- Impossible Burgers coming to K-12
Impossible Burger manufacturer Impossible Foods has announced that its plant-based product has received the Child Nutrition (CN) Label from the USDA, allowing it into federal Child Nutrition Programs like the National School Lunch Program. In a corporate blog post, the company said it is starting a number of K-12 pilot programs with school districts across the U.S., including in Palo Alto in California, Aberdeen in Washington and Deer Creek and Union City in Oklahoma.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]