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5 Things
west-campus-dining-rendering.png Texas A&M
Chartwells' rendering of the West Campus food center.

5 things: Texas A&M OKs new $15 million dining facility

This and Michigan State considering a housing/dining fee freeze are among the things you missed for the week of May 11.

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 11:

1. Texas A&M OKs new $15 million dining facility

As perhaps a sign of confidence that things will eventually return to some sort of normal in the post-COVID world, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has approved the construction of a $15 million dining facility for its West Campus that will include Chick-fil-A, Houston Street Subs, Copperhead Jacks and a to-be determined salad concept. Construction is expected to start June 20 with completion expected by June 2021.

Chartwells is the current dining vendor at Texas A&M. The West Campus dining facility will include indoor seating for 390 people and outdoor seating for 80.

Read more: Texas A&M System Regents Approve West Campus Dining Facility

2. Michigan State considers housing/dining fee freeze

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees is considering a proposal to keep housing and dining rates at their current rate in the 2020-2021 school year, an estimated total of $10,522 for a double room and the least expensive meal plan, according to the office of admissions website.

"Continuing existing housing and dining rates for the 2020-21 academic year will financially assist our students following the COVID-19 pandemic," said Vennie Gore, vice president of auxiliary services, in a memo sent to the trustees' committee on budget and finance.

The housing and dining freeze applies to students living in all residence halls and the 1855 Place and University Village apartments. In addition, MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. announced a tuition freeze on April 17 that is also expected to be formally approved by trustees.

Read more: MSU considering housing and dining rate freeze to help students during COVID-19 pandemic

3. Deputies help deliver school meals in Gwinnett County

To celebrate National Police Week, Gwinnett County Sheriff's deputies joined Public School staff on May 13th to deliver school meals to students throughout the county. Gwinnett has been using its fleet of school buses since March to deliver lunches to residents near 68 of the 140 schools in the county.

In a social media post, the sheriff's office wrote how they wanted to highlight the work of the school district's staff: "We enjoyed visiting with the kids and reminding them that our community cares about them. We’re deeply appreciative of the many cafeteria workers and bus drivers who work hard every day to ensure these children receive a meal. They are the heroes of this story and we appreciate them letting us tag along."

Read more: Gwinnett Sheriff's deputies join cafeteria workers and bus drivers in delivering lunches

4. Tufts cuts summer dining staff, and the union is not happy…

Tufts University plans to reduce summer dining staff to about 20, a third of the normal total, and remains vague on plans for benefits payments in talks to replace an agreement that guaranteed full pay to workers which expired May 12th, officials from UNITE Here Local 26, which represents the workers, said. Patrick Collins, Tufts’ executive director of public relations, declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations, but confirmed the university’s intentions to cut the number of positions down to 20.

Read more: Tufts to cut two-thirds of summer dining staff as union talks stall

5. Court upholds cook’s firing over using food cart to move around

Nutrition Group, an FM Top 50 management company specializing in the K-12 market, isn’t liable under disability bias law for firing a cook who, though she was given permission to use a cane, persistently used a food cart to move around her workplace, the Third Circuit ruled. Suzanne Tielle said Nutrition Group should have let her use the food cart too, so it failed to accommodate her knee-related disability in violation of federal and state law. But there’s no evidence she ever “directly asked” to use the cart as a reasonable accommodation for her condition, the appeals court said.

Read more: Cook Fired for Using Food Cart as a Walker Lacks Job Bias Claim

Bonus: Major senior community operator Erickson Living adapts to COVID-19 with meal delivery, grocery concierge programs

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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