Philadelphia students campaign for healthier lunch options

Students at schools that receive pre-plated meal options are asking for a new vendor.

PHILADELPHIA—Philadelphia students are campaigning to dump the company that provides many of the city’s public schools with frozen, pre-plated lunches, contending that the food provided by Maramont, a subsidiary of Illinois-based Preferred Meal Systems, Inc., tastes bad and is bad for their health.

The contract, which has been awarded solely to Maramont for the past decade, includes pre-plated lunches, breakfasts and after-school meals. It will expire in July, and the District has issued a Request for Proposals that has attracted bids from two rival food-service companies. Youth United for Change (YUC) student activists, who worked with the District to rewrite the RFP, say that providing better food is a simple thing that cash-strapped public schools can do to improve student health and learning.   

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Students and union representatives are petitioning Eastern Michigan University’s plan to outsource its foodservice operations, calling for the school to delay such a move to allow for further discussion with stakeholders, MLive reports .

EMU last week announced a tentative agreement to hand over its residential, catering and retail foodservices to Chartwells, a deal the university’s interim president avered would enable the school to expand and upgrade its eateries while maintaining high food quality, MLive says.

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whole grain pasta foodservice menu

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With younger consumers eager to explore new flavors and better-for-you options, whole-grain pasta is winning greater acceptance in American diets.

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At the University of Iowa, whole-grain foods have won general acceptance, says Barry Greenberg, executive chef for university dining. Two marketplace dining facilities on campus offer whole-grain pasta as a regular option and incorporate it into baked...

Managing Your Business
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Summer is no idle time for foodservice directors working at colleges and universities: They’re planning for the futures of their programs. Operators in FoodService Director magazine’s 2016 College and University Census reported an average 16,000-plus students at their schools. During a recent summit FSD hosted with a dozen C&U operators, the people behind some of the nation’s top programs told us what’s keeping them up at night. (FSD is sharing their thoughts anonymously to allow their answers to remain as candid as possible.)

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The Menus of Change initiative aims to do nothing less than change the way the world eats. A collaboration of the Culinary Institute of America and Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School, the program sets out broad principles and ambitious goals that require fundamental changes in foodservice, agriculture, health policy, food processing and even what happens at the family dinner table.

But the means of achieving those lofty ends are often small advances and tweaks to the collective mindset, as the CIA’s annual conference on the initiative reminded attendees this week.

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