Douglas County Schools drops out of federal lunch program

High schools are no longer part of the NSLP because of loss of revenue from Smart Snacks rules.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo.—The Douglas County Board of Education Tuesday voted unanimously against continued involvement in the National School Lunch Program for high schools — a program that was endorsed by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Recent changes in the lunch program that include tight federal restrictions on specific nutrition choices, are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a measure cheered by Obama in her push for legislated child health initiatives.

“This smacks of nanny state interference,” said board president Kevin Larsen in rejecting the federal directives. “Is the next step to start inspecting their bag lunches and start parenting instead of our parents parenting? Are they going to come and monitor your kitchen?”

Aside from the federal invasiveness the first lady’s initiative is built upon in principle, the program’s restrictions also present practical problems for kids’ bellies and schools’ budgets.

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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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Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

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