Proposed legislation would make meat, grain eliminations permanent

Representative says the Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act would give schools more flexibility.

Dec. 9—Proposed legislation to cut federal mandates on school lunch standards is expected, but the implications for fruit and vegetable requirements in school meals are unclear.

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., has titled the legislation “Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act” and promised in a release on her website that the pending legislation would make the USDA’s temporary easing of the meat and grain requirements permanent. She also said the bill would allow schools more flexibility in serving meats and grains while still staying within calorie maximums.

The legislation would give school administrators flexibility in some rules that have increased costs for school districts. 

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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.

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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.

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