School Nutrition Association nearly doubles money spent on lobbying

The group spent more than $105,000 on its case with Congress, which is up from $53,887 during the previous three months.

WASHINGTON—The School Nutrition Association nearly doubled its lobbying spending this year as it has battled over new school lunch standards.

The group, whose members include school nutrition officials and some food industry giants, spent more than $105,000 to press its case with Congress and the executive branch from April 1 to June 30, new lobbying reports show. That's up from $53,887 during the previous three months.

The lunch standards were approved by Congress in 2010 and phase in requirements that school districts increase fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains and reduce sodium. A new round of standards went into effect this month.

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The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

The new cards are expected to be available by the time school begins next fall.

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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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