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UCLA claimed the top spot in the 2021 Best College Food in America listing from

5 things: UCLA tops 2021 Niche Best College Food ranking

This and the limited impact of the CDC’s new three-foot distancing guideline on California school district reopening plans this spring 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. New three-foot distancing guideline won’t affect most California schools this spring

Most school districts in California are not likely to make changes this spring on how they approach classes despite the recent recommendation by the CDC that three feet of distancing is as effective as the previous recommendation of six feet to ensure against transmission of the COVID-19 virus in schools. For example, the state’s largest district, Los Angeles Unified, will space students six feet apart when campuses begin to reopen in mid-April, according to Superintendent Austin Beutner.

Read more: What 3-foot social distance means for reopening of California schools

  1. UCLA tops 2021 Niche Best College Food ranking

UCLA claimed the top spot in the 2021 Best College Food in America listing from, followed by Virginia Tech, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, St. Norbert College and California Baptist University in the top five. The ranking is based on meal plan costs and student reviews, according to Niche.

Read more: 2021 Best College Food in America

  1. Survey shows reluctance to return to offices, but dining perks may help change that…

A recent study by the Blind Blog professional social network shows a possible disconnect between what companies expect from a post-COVID workforce and what employees want regarding returning to the office, even if only for a limited number of days per week. What is encouraging for corporate dining providers is that a number of the survey respondents indicated that perks such as subsidized meals would be factors that could encourage them to return.

Read more: Blind Blog survey finds companies, employees disagree on WFH future

  1. James Madison University to hike meal plan prices for second straight year  

Following a 36% year-over-year slide in 2019-2020 meal plan sales that led to a program revenue drop of $18 million, James Madison University Dining Services plans to raise meal plan prices for the second straight year. Meal plan costs, which are mandatory for freshmen, ranged from $2,536 to $2,755 per semester in 2019-2020 and are slated to rise to $2,755-$3,093 per semester for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Read more: JMU Dining hikes meal plan prices as sales fall $18 million

  1. Vermont universal school meal proposal snagged by funding concerns

A bill in the Vermont State Senate to provide free breakfast and lunch to all public-school students is being delayed by concerns over its cost, estimated at anywhere from $24 million to $40 million a year once fully implemented. As written, S.100 would require local schools to pick up the tab for whatever the federal government won’t reimburse, a factor that has prompted stringent opposition from superintendents, principals and school boards, who say that while they’re fine with the mandate, the funding mechanism is a nonstarter.

Read more: Vt. universal school meals bill delayed as Senate confronts the cost, and how to pay it

Bonus: College Chef Showcase: Sodexo at Liberty University helps stressed-out students through new Study Snacks program

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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