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University of Texas at San Antonio, the state's largest university, recently announced that it will move most classes online during the first three weeks of the fall semester.

5 things: Major Texas university to start fall with online classes

This and a study finding kids getting most of their calories from junk foods 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. UT-San Antonio moves to online classes for start of fall term

While most universities across the country anticipate a return to some form of pre-pandemic "normal," retrenchments are starting to pop up given the event COVID surge caused by the Delta Variant. Significantly, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the state's largest university, recently announced that it will move most classes online during the first three weeks of the fall semester. Meanwhile, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston said they will allow faculty to reduce the density in face-to-face classes during the first two weeks of the semester, as each course requires at least one face-to-face experience per week.

In a related development, an online survey conducted July 28-Aug. 4 of 1,242 educators by EdWeek Research Center found that 20% who’ve decided on their reopening plans now report that they’ll adopt hybrid learning models, up from 10% a month earlier.

Read more: Dallas County issues Maskman Date, UTSA moves to online class

  1. Study finds kids get most of their calories from junk foods

U.S. children and teens are consuming more than two-thirds of their calories from ultra-processed foods like chips, cookies, microwaveable meals and frozen pizza, according to a new study published in JAMA. The study, which looked at children ages 2 to 19 over a 20-year period, found the share of ultra-processed food rose 5.6 percentage points between 1999 and 2018 with the majority of this increase coming from ready-to-heat and -eat mixed dishes and from sweet snacks and sweets. However, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages actually decreased from 10.8% share of calories to 5.3%.

Read more: Two-thirds of US youths' calories come from ultra-processed foods, study finds

  1. Facebook latest major employer to delay return to office

Joining similar moves made by other major employers, Facebook Inc. has pushed back its office return date for all U.S. and some international employees until January 2022 due to concerns over the highly infectious Delta variant. The move comes days after Facebook said its U.S. employees must get vaccinated to step into offices.

Read more: Facebook Delays Return to Office for Employees Until January

  1. Governor change in New York poses potential conflict for Delaware North exec  

One aspect of the recent elevation of Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul to governor of New York following the resignation of Andrew Cuomo is the potential conflict of interest being faced by her husband William Hochul, who serves as senior vice president and general counsel for Buffalo-based contract firm Delaware North, one of the largest operators of foodservices in the country. Delaware North has indicated that Hochul will remain in his post but "will be precluded from involvement in matters relating to business conducted by Delaware North in New York state in which a New York state government official, department or agency is, or potentially could be, engaged."

Read more: Kathy Hochul's husband will stay at Delaware North despite potential conflict of interest

  1. California to cover medically tailored meals for discharged patients

California’s Medicaid (Medi-Cal) health plans will begin to offer and cover medically tailored meals for its members starting in 2022. They will include meals delivered to a member’s home immediately following discharge from a hospital or nursing home, meals provided to the member at home that meet the unique dietary needs required for treatment of chronic illness and are tailored to the member’s needs by a registered dietician or certified nutrition professional, and medically supportive food and nutrition services, including medically tailored groceries and healthy food vouchers. Under the policy, Medi-Cal will cover up to three meals per day and/or medically supportive food and nutrition services for up to 12 weeks, or longer if medically necessary. Meals that are reimbursed by other programs are not eligible for coverage under Medi-Cal, and meals that solely address food insecurity will not be covered. New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Oregon have similar coverage of meals through their Medicaid managed care plans.

Read more: Medically Tailored Meals Become a Covered Service Option in California

Bonus: Viewpoint: The first-year college campus experience gets a do-over at UNC

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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