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Supply chain issues looming for school meal programs this fall.

5 things: Supply chain issues on tap this fall for school meal programs?

This and major universities announcing fall dining plans 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. Supply chain issues looming for school meal programs this fall

A recent Wall Street Journal report claims that a combination of inflation, labor deficiencies and supply chain issues are threatening to reduce supply of school meal staple products such as juice boxes, hamburger beef patties, chicken tenders, canned fruit, corn dogs, salsa, “Uncrustables” sandwiches, salad dressing and even lunch trays for K-12 meal programs this fall. With suppliers cutting back deliveries, schools are shrinking menus.

Read more: Supply-Chain Woes Come to School Cafeterias

  1. Harvard, Penn State, Dartmouth announce fall dining plans

Major universities are beginning to announce their dining plans for the fall. For instance, Harvard University says its Dining Services will expand full-service breakfast, add brunch service on Saturdays in all houses and add new dining spaces for freshmen.

At Penn State University Park, campus dining will be open for in-person dining for students, faculty and staff for the fall semester, with plans underway to open at full capacity and all residential and retail dining locations open. The school is also debuting a taco-themed food truck and a fresh smoothie and juice bar in one of its residential dining outlets.

Dartmouth is reopening its Courtyard Cafe in the Hopkins Center for the Arts and the snack bars located in residential halls and adding a new cafe in the Baker-Berry library and a bubble tea station at Collis Café. Later in the year, plans are to open a dining facility in the Irving Institute for Energy and Society and a new grab and go location in the Thayer School of Engineering.

Read more: Harvard University Dining Services To Expand Meal Options, Change Hours for Fall 2021In-person dining returns to Penn State for fall semesterDartmouth Dining plans to expand options and hours in the fall

  1. Tyson food waste reduction pilot saves over 35 tons from landfills

Tyson Foods is testing a food composting program with local sustainability startup Food Loops in in its corporate cafeteria that has diverted more than 35 tons of food waste since the pilot program launched in 2018. The food scraps are collected by Food Loops and turned into compost for farmers and consumers while enabling Tyson to streamline costs and send as few materials as possible to landfills.

Read more: Tyson Foods partners with Food Loops of Rogers to compost cafeteria food waste

  1. Robots come to University of Nevada

Add the University of Nevada to the list of universities turning to robotic meal delivery. Chartwells Higher Education, the campus dining services provider, has rolled out a fleet of nearly 40 autonomous food delivery robots from vendor Starship Technologies that will allow students to order on-demand food deliveries from from a range of on-campus restaurants and cafés starting this fall and track their order in real-time.

Read more: Initial fleet of autonomous food delivery robots have already ascended onto the University campus

  1. NSA staff complaints about cafeteria subject of FOI documents

Even spies get the dining blues sometimes, according to documents obtained from the National Security Agency (NSA) in Washington DC through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. Among the complains are one about a six-cent price increase on a salad at the agency's cafeteria and another about checkout registers that continually have to be rebooted.

Read more: Internal Documents Reveal NSA Cafeteria Sucks

Bonus: K-12 On Demand: Sodexo’s Keith Stewart talks about the rollout of the company’s new FoodIE Café program for middle schools

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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