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:
- Major Massachusetts hospitals to require COVID vaccination from staff
Three major Massachusetts hospital systems—Mass General Brigham, Beth Israel Lahey Health and Wellforce—will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, even those who do not have direct contact with patients. The three systems have about 130,000 total employees. The announcements follow a recent federal court ruling that dismissed an employee challenge against a similar mandatory vaccination policy at Houston Methodist Hospital that resulted in more than 150 employees being terminated or resigning.
- WMU raises board rates, plans new dining center
Western Michigan University (WMU) leaders have voted to raise the cost of tuition and room and board rates for students after not imposing any increase last year due to the pandemic's impact on student finances. In addition, WMU is proceeding with a planned revitalization of the campus that will include new student center incorporating a new dining center slated to open in fall 2022..
- Hospital launches free fresh food program for discharged diabetics
St. Joseph’s Health in Syracuse, N.Y. is prescribing free fresh food for patients with diabetes and their families that it is distributing along with recipes for healthy meals at its main primary care center on the hospital campus. Patients get the ingredients to make two healthy meals a day, five days a week, for themselves and up to five members of their households. The “Food Farmacy” program is funded by a $500,000 grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, a private, nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable New Yorkers.
- Juneteenth menu prompts employee walkout at Ikea location
An attempt to honor Juneteenth backfired at a Georgia Ikea, thanks to a stereotyped menu curated to celebrate the recently declared federal holiday that marks the emancipation of the very last enslaved Americans. The menu included selections like fried chicken, watermelon, mac n cheese, potato salad, collard greens and candied yams that are stereotypically associated with Black Americans, prompting multiple employees to call out of work in protest. The controversy is similar to ones faced by a number of dining programs in recent years that sought to celebrate Black History Month with similar stereotypical offerings, resulting in the development of more positive approaches at some sites.
- Tokyo Olympic Village features two-story dining center
Here's a photo tour of the living quarters and amenities planned for athletes competing in next month's Olympic Games in Tokyo. Among the features is the two-floor Olympic Village dining hall that will reportedly offer some 700 food options.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]