Districts need snack sales to remain financially solvent, directors say

Some schools worry new USDA competitive food regs could hurt their bottom line.

July 15 — While raw carrots call out for takers at a local school cafeteria, the line for the snack window is 10-deep with sixth-graders awaiting frosted zebra cakes, fried dough sticks and many more sugar- and fat-laden treats.

Why does Highland Middle School offer such junk food?

“Purely for money,” said Maria McCarthy, food service director for the district, which sold $52,000 in vending machine items and $189,000 in so-called a la carte foods and snacks in 2011-12, among them a high school favorite, nachos with cheese.

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Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

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From Ovention.

Today’s colleges and universities know they should offer more than a large selection of breakfast cereals in the morning and chicken tenders at lunch to appeal to students. When it comes to what’s trending on campuses, here’s a look at what directors can tune into to boost engagement.

1. Expanded dining hours

Late-night options have long been a popular fixture on college campuses, but if it’s too late, students often choose to venture to off-campus retailers to satisfy their cravings. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend...

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