Summer meals' programs latest victim of economic hardship

Food programs hard to sustain in rural areas.

July 12--This summer, when South Side Area School District in the southwest corner of Beaver County sent home a flier with locations where children could get "free, healthy meals," parents at Harshbarger Mobile Home Park in Hookstown were upset by the changes.

"I threw it away when I saw it," one mother said. "How's that going to help me?"

Last summer, kids at Harshbarger had to walk only a few feet down the dirt and gravel roads of their trailer court to reach the Lunch Bus, a converted school bus that the district sent to three trailer parks in the county. Any child who showed up could eat a free meal on the bus, which was packed with coolers of food.

This year, South Side was forced to shut down its summer meals programs. To get the free meal their kids qualify for, parents at Harshbarger have to drive them 12 miles to a site run by another school district, a more than 20-minute ride on winding rural roads. None of the parents interviewed say they are willing or able to make the trip.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Hutchinson Middle School in Hutchinson, Minn., invited students to help serve lunch in an effort to encourage their peers to try new, healthy recipes, Hutchinson Leader reports.

The students, who are part of the school’s Students in Action Club, created posters to advertise the new meal and helped serve it to students during lunch.

The school’s kitchen manager, Janet Schmidt, said that around 37 more students than normal got in line to try the meal. The school plans to have students from the club help serve lunch once every month.

Read the full story via Hutchinson...

Industry News & Opinion

In an effort to trim costs, the country’s largest senior living company laid off 100 staff members, including regional dining services directors, reports Senior Housing News .

Not all employees who were laid off will technically leave the company, Senior Housing News notes, as some will be reassigned to alternative positions. Brookdale recently posted third-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations and that the company’s CEO called disappointing.

At the end of last year, the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company employed 53,000 workers on a full-time basis, and...

Industry News & Opinion

After receiving mixed feedback from parents, Randolph County School District in Asheboro, N.C., is inviting parents to tour the district’s kitchens and cafeterias to see how the food for school meals is made, Fox 8 reports.

School officials say that the tours, part of the district’s first Food Day for Parents, will give parents an inside look at the upkeep of the facilities, as well as enable them to sample some food and see how the district is upholding USDA guidelines.

Officials also hope that the tours will provide them with more guidance on what parents and students are...

Industry News & Opinion

After fielding complaints from parents and students, Sodexo is launching an initiative to improve dining services at Emerson College in Boston, the Berkeley Beacon reports.

The initiative will kick off this month with an event dubbed Fresh Start, marking the start of several moves aimed at improving service—including the hiring of a new executive chef, the addition of a second sous chef, and retraining current staff on food preparation and presentation.

Members of the Emerson community will also be able to share feedback through the introduction of monthly forums, as well...

FSD Resources