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Universal free school meal bill introduced in California legislature.jpg John Moore / Staff / Getty Images News
The Free School Meals For All bill introduced in the California State Senate last month would establish a statewide Universal Meal Plan starting in the 2022-2023 school year.

5 things: Universal free school meal bill introduced in California legislature

This and a temporary COVID-related lockdown at the University of Chicago 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 school meal bill introduced in California legislature

The Free School Meals For All bill introduced in the California State Senate last month would establish a statewide Universal Meal Plan starting in the 2022-2023 school year, guaranteeing free breakfast and lunch for all California students and eliminating the free/reduced price meal application process. While some cities such as New York and Chicago have already created such programs, California would be the first to do it statewide if the measure passes.

Read more: California moving to pioneer free meals for all students

  1. University of Chicago faces temporary lockdown following COVID spike

The University of Chicago has issued a stay-at-home order in response to a "large cluster" of coronavirus cases at the school that requires students living in residence halls to observe a new stay-at-home period for seven days through April 15, makes all classes fully remote for at least seven days and puts all on-campus dining on a takeout-only basis until further notice. The move is similar to one implemented several weeks ago at the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland and shows the continued vulnerability of college campuses to COVID outbreaks that require immediate changes in how the campus dining program operates.

Read more: University of Chicago Issues Stay-at-Home Order Due to ‘Large Cluster' of COVID Cases

  1. Philadelphia ending work-at-home mandates, though with restrictions

In a sign that some COVID-related regulatory restrictions are easing, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia have lifted their mandates for many businesses to telework, with state officials now saying the practice is only "highly encouraged," though the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) recommends that office workers continue to work at home when possible. PDPH has also outlined a series of guidelines that must be followed when employees are in the office, including prohibiting employees from eating together in a shared space such as a lunchroom or conference room.

Read more: End of teleworking mandate hailed as 'positive step' for Philadelphia's economic recovery

  1. Contact tracing program at USC uses student ID cards

A new contact tracing program at the University of Southern California is leveraging the student ID card to notify students of possible exposure. The “Tap for Tracing” pilot program enables students to tap their university ID card when they arrive at one of five high-traffic areas on campus, including two dining locations, and then be notified within 24 hours if anyone else who tapped in at that location has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read more: USC pilots contact tracing program using student IDs

  1. Elior acquires Parisian food delivery firm serving office workers

Elior has announced the acquisition of French food delivery firm Nestor, the latest in a series of moves by the large international foodservice contract management firms to position themselves for an emerging dining culture that is expected to depend more on remote order, meal delivery and centralized production of customized dishes. It follows recent moves by Sodexo to acquire food delivery firm Nourish and forge partnerships with Uber Eats and HelloFresh, and Compass Group’s acquisition of a majority stake in food technology firm SmartQ. Nestor operates a meal delivery service in Paris that mainly targeting professionals at the office with a single lunch menu that can be ordered and delivered 10-20 minutes later.

Read more: Elior acquires Nestor, the single meal food delivery startup

Bonus: Chefs to Watch: Sodexo corporate chef brings B&I dining back to life with fresh ideas

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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