Philadelphia School District reopens some full-service cafeterias

District had moved toward feeding from satellite kitchens, but critics say quality suffered.

Nov. 5—Squeezed by increasingly brutal budgets, the Philadelphia School District in recent years has moved to close dozens of full-service cafeterias, switching those schools to meals prepared in a warehouse in Brooklyn and trucked into Philadelphia.

Students, advocates, and even district staff agree: The pre-plated food is often less than appealing.

Of the district's roughly 280 meal sites, most—about 200—still receive the "satellite" meals made out of state, frozen, transported, and then warmed in school kitchens. But in an effort to make lunch more appetizing, the district converted 10 cafeterias back to full service in September, with on-site lunch ladies preparing meals daily.

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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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