Each Friday Food Management compiles a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the onsite foodservice news that week and why you should care about them.
Here’s your list for the week of May 18:
- More universities looking to end fall term by Thanksgiving
With infectious-disease experts forecasting recurring waves of Covid-19 contagion, a number of colleges are coalescing around a plan to send students home by Thanksgiving this fall. Hundreds of institutions have pledged to return to in-person classes in August, after the coronavirus forced them to move instruction online in the spring. While some of those colleges intend to return to normal operations, others have configured their calendars with earlier start and end dates.
The Universities of Notre Dame, South Carolina and San Diego, along with Creighton University and Rice University are all planning to end their fall semesters early.
“We decided to make that decision more quickly than other schools in order to make sure we have the maximum time to prepare,” said David W. Leebron, Rice’s president. He added that the decision was made in late April.
- Ohio college bringing students back now
Students at Hocking College in Ohio began the process of returning to their campuses last week on a staggered basis to complete the in-person portions of their Spring 2020 courses or previously scheduled Summer 2020 courses that require in-person instruction. The first group of students arrived on Monday, May 18 with a second group of students scheduled to arrive on June 15 and a third on July 6. All courses are expected to end no later than Aug. 7.
Campus dining services is resuming, but with carry-out options only.
- Volunteers buy local milk and donate it to the local school district
Each weekday, teachers, staff and volunteers organize and hand out free meals that include milk from local dairy farmers to kids in the Pine Grove Area School District in Pennsylvania. That’s because volunteers saw video of dairy farmers dumping milk they couldn’t sell during the coronavirus crisis, so they collected money to pay farmers for their milk and then donated that milk to the school district.
"I'll tell you what; the community has really pulled together, everybody is chipping in, we have a lot of volunteers, a lot of volunteers from the school, a lot of businesses have been donating. They stepped up," said Bernie Kelly of Metz Culinary Management, which operates the school meal program for the Pine Grove district.
Read more: Helping kids and farmers in Pine Grove
- University dining service pivots to community meal sales
Until the coronavirus shuttered the school, Tony and Tamie Tores had been running Lions Pride Dining Services at Freed-Hardeman University in Tennessee and serving up to 1,500 meals a day. When Freed-Hardeman suspended in-person classes and sent students home, the couple didn’t want to just stop cooking, so they came up with a plan to provide lunch and dinner meals on weekdays through curbside pick-up at the school for members of the community.
Their menu is posted on their website and Facebook page, so customers just pull up to the first open spot at the university, give a quick call to place their order and receive it shortly afterwards.
- School meal provider alters business model to keep going during crisis
In mid-March, Choicelunch, a business that contracts to prepare and deliver meals to to 250 schools across California, saw its revenue stream suddenly dry up as schools across the state began to shut down in the face of the coronavirus crisis. So rather than shutting down the business and laying off some 200 workers, the company changed its business model and began selling groceries and meals at designated drop-off zones in the Bay Area, as well as at senior living communities. In Southern California, they’ve also contracted with homeless shelters, preparing hundreds of meals, seven days a week, for some of the state’s most vulnerable residents. The move saved 40 jobs at Choicelunch.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]