First lady bemoans opposition to her school lunch program

First lady Michelle Obama is preparing to defend her school lunch menus from Republicans in Congress who are fighting for a scale-back on regulations.

WASHINGTON—First lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday chided congressional Republicans for attempting to roll back her school lunch standards, calling the effort “unacceptable” and accusing lawmakers of playing politics with the health of young students.

The unusual step by Mrs. Obama, who largely has avoided political scuffles during her husband’s time in office, underscores the growing unrest around the initiative and a real chance that the standards, at least in their current form, may not survive much longer.

The first lady now is going toe-to-toe with lawmakers in the House and Senate, where proposals to alter the lunch guidelines are gaining traction as students flee the program in droves.

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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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