House dining services looks for feedback on all nine eateries

Restaurant Associates surveying customers for feedback on ambiance, sanitation, price, quality and more.

Nov. 7—Before the cupcake, Daniel Minchew’s lunch in the Longworth Cafe, in Washington, D.C., totaled $5.50. Dessert pushed it to $7.75.

“Prices are fair — all of this for less than $8,” said Minchew, who ventures from his job in the Capitol Visitor Center to the House office complex a few times a week for breakfast and midday meals. His favorites come from the global food section, priced at 55 cents per ounce. Monday’s selection was Mexican.

“I tend to look at the international choices first, salads second,” Minchew said. Greens from the salad bar go for 48 cents per ounce. “I love the barbecue and brisket, but it’s just a little too heavy for me most days.”

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The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
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Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Building...
Ideas and Innovation
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

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