Del Mar schools revamped lunch increases sales

Partnering with Northern California-based Choicelunch has helped improve participation.

March 7—During the last couple of years, school officials in Del Mar, Calif., have revamped their lunch program with the help of an outside company to try to add choices, improve nutrition and break even financially.

The effort has paid off, they say. For the first time in years, enough students are buying lunch for the Del Mar Union School District to pay all of their cafeteria workers and other expenses and still have some left over. The number of children buying lunch has steadily increased since the district stopped contracting with the San Dieguito Union High School District for meals two years ago and went with the Northern California-based Choicelunch instead. They shot up even more this year, since the district reworked the contract with the company to include more choices and an online ordering options.

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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.

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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.

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