Bill would bring meals to needy charter school students

Calif. bill under review would require similar meal standards as public schools.

March 29—Charter schools in Calif. could soon be subject to the same free and reduced-price meal mandate as public schools if a new state bill gets its way. The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Mike Eng, D-Alhambra, "levels the playing field so children, whether in public or charter school, will have the same advantages that will lead to classroom performance, higher test scores and lower obesity rates,” Eng says in an article from California Watch. The bill is being debated by the state Assembly Education Committee.

Charter schools are exempt from many state meal requirements, including the state law that says public schools “need to provide each needy pupil one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal during each schoolday.”

According to a 2010 state audit, about 18% of classroom-based California charter schools don’t offer low-income students breakfast or lunch, though needy children attend charter schools at about the same rate as traditional public schools. The audit also reported that 39 charter schools spanning the state, from Ukiah to Bakersfield and San Diego, did not serve any meals at all.

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The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

The new cards are expected to be available by the time school begins next fall.

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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

“Word of mouth is getting out, and every day I get a few more people,” Ryan Carlson, a cook at the...

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

The...

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