Family-style service teaches students social skills

"Eatiquette" program was designed by local Philly chef.

Feb. 28—Baked ziti with a side of roasted fennel salad and, for dessert, cinnamon apple rice pudding is already an impressive dish for school foodservice, but at the People For People Charter School in Philadelphia it's even being served in an innovative way: family-style.

Students pass serving dishes around circular tables, where they eat off plates, not cafeteria trays, and use silverware instead of plastic utensils. People For People is one of four schools participating in the "Eatiquette" program, which was designed by local chef Marc Vetri to provide nutritious, low-cost lunches in a setting that reinforces social niceties and communication skills.

"This is more than just eating healthy," Vetri said. "This is learning how to interact with each other." 

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The University of Maryland will begin offering weekly specials at all of its dining halls this semester, The Diamond Back reports.

The weekday specials will allow Dining Services to offer past menu items that students miss as well as new dishes students have been requesting, according to a spokesperson.

Students can find out which specials are being offered each week via dining hall table tents as well as through Dining Services’ social media. During select weeks, the specials may reflect a particular theme, such as Taste of the South.

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