NYC public schools now offering universal free lunch

After piloting free lunch at some of its middle schools and providing free universal breakfast, the nation’s biggest school district will now offer free lunch to all of its 1.1 million students, The New York Times reports.

New York City public schools unveiled the initiative just ahead of the new school year, which began Thursday. It is not anticipated to cost the city additional money, the result of a federal program that pays for universal free lunch if there are enough students whose families are eligible for benefits.

Around 75% of New York City’s public school students already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Officials believe that the new program will reach an extra 200,000 students and save families around $300 annually.

Read the full story via nytimes.com.

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Sidney Central School District in Sidney, N.Y., has received $58,783 from the state to improve its farm-to-school program, The Daily Star reports.

The grant will be used to aid in appointing a farm-to-school coordinator and assistant who will help source local farm products for 10 districts in the region for NY Thursday, an initiative where cafeterias attempt to serve meals made entirely by local ingredients every Thursday.

The funding is part of a $12 million award spread among 12 districts throughout the state by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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Industry News & Opinion

Denver Public Schools has begun posting cooking videos on its Facebook page in an effort to promote the scratch-made meals served in its cafeterias, Denverite reports.

The video tutorials are set up in a similar way to Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos, showing a pair of hands from above as they prepare a meal to background music. The Colorado district promotes the videos with the hashtag #DPSDelicious.

Read the full story via denverite.com .

Industry News & Opinion

Oregon State University will begin weighing waste in its food halls after receiving a $27,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Materials Management program, the Gazette Times reports.

The school will use the money to install a computer-based system to help keep track of the waste .

Through the system, which includes a scale and a camera, staff will be able to weigh leftover food and take a photo of it before it’s discarded.

After reviewing the data collected, school officials say they may try to reduce portion sizes, alter purchases or...

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