Dallas schools seek upgrades to entice healthier eating habits

Dallas Independent School District has improved about 90 kitchens in the last few years.

DALLAS—Industrial blenders mix up smoothies for students in New York while some schools in California are adding salad bars. In Dallas, campus cafeterias use pass-through coolers and warmers to make sure the food is just right before it's served.

School districts across the country have made such upgrades in recent years as a way to entice children into healthier eating habits amid higher nutrition standards.

But paying for the makeovers poses a challenge for many districts, as heavy demand for a limited amount of federal money means schools must fund the projects on their own. Some have made gradual improvements, while others passed the bulk of the tab to taxpayers through large bond packages.

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Orange County Community College in upstate New York is replacing its dining staff with vending machines , The Times Herald-Record reports.

The staff members, who will be let go in June, include nine full-time and three part-time workers. Students say they will miss the employees and the access to fresh food.

The Orange County Community College Association, which oversees the school’s cafeterias, says the layoffs were partly due to a $150,000 deficit accumulated by foodservice operations last year.

Read the full story via The Times Herald-Record .

Industry News & Opinion

Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, is eliminating paper cups in its Commons dining hall and has given each student a reusable stainless steel mug as a replacement, bates.edu reports.

The mugs were distributed via a promotion earlier this week where students could fill their new mugs with a free smoothie. Stickers and other trinkets were set out for students to use to “bling” their mugs.

Dining services turned to students to determine which type of mug would be offered. The college also installed a mug-washing sink in the dining Commons earlier this year.

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Compass has partnered with Jose Andres ’ ThinkFoodGroup, allowing the chef and foodservice vendor to collaborate at such venues as stadiums and college campuses.

“With this partnership, we have the opportunity to tell stories and connect with people through food on an entirely new level,” Andres said in a release.

The three-year team-up comes shortly after Andres opened a ThinkFoodLab pop-up in Washington, D.C., which will serve as a recipe R&D space for his restaurant group.

ThinkFoodGroup was this year named a Power 20 multiconcept operator by Restaurant...

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