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5 things: Texas Ag commissioner takes on Meatless Mondays

This and more are the things you missed for the week of Feb. 20.

Each Friday I compile a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the news that week and why you should care about them.

Here’s your list for the week of Feb. 20:

1. Texas Ag commissioner takes on Meatless Mondays

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is no stranger to controversy. Last year he said schools should be allowed to bring back deep fryers and soda machines. And now, he’s taking aim at Meatless Mondays, saying they are “stupid” and “not healthy.” The remarks came during an event to promote local products in Texas school cafeterias. Miller criticized a Meatless Monday program instituted at an Austin-area school district. He advocates state and local control of school nutrition programs.

Read more: Texas Agriculture Commissioner: ‘Meatless Mondays are Stupid, Not Healthy’


2. OK House signs bill allowing schools to send home food with needy students

Food waste and hungry kids. You wouldn’t think schools would be facing both problems at the same time, but many are. A new bill passed by the Oklahoma House would help alleviate those issues. It would allow schools to save and distribute unopened, unused food. Schools could also donate the food to a nonprofit, or store and distribute it from the school site.

Read more: House Signs off on Plan to Let Schools Send Food Home with Needy Kids


3. App helps students find free meal on campus

The new Titan Bites app helps needy students find free food on campus—something dining services at Cal State Fullerton said was necessary after a survey found nearly one-fourth of students at Fullerton’s 23 campuses were food insecure. The app lets students sign up to receive notifications when free food is available (such as after a catered event, for example). The service is being run on the honor system, so students do not need to prove financial hardship to sign up. “We want students in need of food to feel comfortable using this resource, without making them feel different,” said Crystal Newman, marketing manager for Campus Dining Services. “We want students to know they can come, get food, walk out and it’s not a big deal.”

Read more: New app helping students find free meals on campus


4. EU looking to member states to help combat childhood obesity through school meals

Following a recent report that found childhood obesity should be tackled at an early age and that schools can help play a positive role in encouraging healthy eating, the EU is urging its member states to look at the food served in schools. “Considering the amount of time that children spend at school, as well as the fact that in many European countries students consume at least one daily main meal there, schools are an ideal environment for supporting healthy behaviours (sic),” the report states. It goes on to say schools should look to procuring healthy foods and recommends setting specifications on what those healthy foods would be. That sure sounds a lot like the US’s child nutrition bills. 

Read more: EU urges member states to target childhood obesity in schools


5. Principal shuts down food delivery to school 

A principal in California had to stop food deliveries to his school after too many students got in the habit of ordering lunch through apps like DoorDash that provide food deliveries for a fee. Apparently, so many students were using these services, and not purchasing meals from the child nutrition department, that dozens of delivery drivers were showing up at different times, forcing school officials to track down students.

Read more: Why Food Delivery Apps Are Causing Chaos at Schools


Bonus: Sodexo signs 10-year, $173M deal with Florida State


Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected].

Follow her on Twitter: @bschilling_FM


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