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Universal free lunch doesn’t just provide meals for children but also improves students’ perceptions of bullying, fighting and safety at their schools, according to a new study.

5 things: Study finds additional universal free lunch benefits for K-12

This and the release of a couple of recent Best Campus Food lists 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. Universal free lunch has additional K-12 benefits, study finds

Universal free lunch doesn’t just provide meals for children but also improves students’ perceptions of bullying, fighting and safety at their schools, according to a new study from Washington D.C.-based think tank Urban Institute, which used New York City students’ responses to annual surveys as well as school meal participation data from the city’s education department to investigate the impact of free school lunches. While previous research has found that free lunch boosts academic performance, this study reportedly was the first of its kind to look at its impact on school climate, or students’ perceptions of their learning environment.

Read more: Universal lunch may help NYC students view their schools as safer places, a report finds

  1. Bowdoin, UCLA top two recent best campus food lists

The start of a new academic year annually brings out "Best" lists from a variety of services, including various "Best Campus Food" listings. Two major lists that were recently published include those from collegeconsensus.com and niche.com. The top five in the collegeconsensus.com 25 Best College Dining Halls are...

1. Bowdoin College

2. Carleton College

3. Brown University

4. College of the Holy Cross

5. Northwestern University

Meanwhile, the top five in the niche.com 2022 Best College Food in America list is...

1. UCLA

2. Virginia Tech

3. University of Massachusetts-Amherst

4. St. Norbert College

5. California Baptist University.

Read more: 25 Best College Dining Halls and 2022 Best College Food in America

  1. Over a third of remote workers still waiting on return to office plans

The resurgence of COVID-19 cases due to the Delta Variant is casting uncertainty on future plans yet again, including the return to offices. A little over a third (36%) of people currently working from home say they’re still waiting to hear from their employer about whether they’ll stay remote or be expected to return to the workplace anytime soon, according to a survey of nearly 3,000 American workers conducted by LinkedIn in July.

Read more: More than one-third of remote workers are still waiting for their employer’s return-to-office plan

  1. Hospital group updates menus with diverse ethnic choices  

The Texas-based Medical City Healthcare system has updated its menus to cater to diverse cultures while also being nutritious, developing close to 80 new recipes for its patients and hospitals based on geographic location. A team of executive chefs and registered dieticians spent a year developing new the recipes that include dishes from India, Asia, Mexico and the Middle East.

Read more: North Texas hospital group bringing in highly-skilled chefs to help revamp menu with bold flavors

  1. Amazon touchless café opens at NYC’s Javits Convention Center

A café with no checkout lanes recently opened at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan reportedly is the first touchless café run by Amazon.com Inc.’s Just Walk Out technology at any convention center in the U.S. and the first example of the Amazon technology powering a third-party customer location in New York City. The Fresh and Fast café was designed Levy and Catering by Restaurant Associates (CxRA), the convention center's dining and hospitality team that together operate under the Javits brand of Cultivated, with data and insights from Levy’s analytics and tech division, E15 Group. Fresh and Fast will sell freshly made sandwiches, salads and bowls, as well as grab-and-go items, snacks, beverages and in-house bakery items.

Read more: Exclusive: Touchless store powered by Amazon's 'Just Walk Out' technology opening at Javits Center

Bonus: Chefs to Watch: Eurest B&I chef mixes business with barbecue

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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