3 dining events to try in December

holiday flatware

The last month of the year offers operators multiple chances to market their dining programs. Here are some ideas to keep in mind. 

Photographs: Shutterstock

Final exams (All month)

college student tea test finals

Find ways to help students de-stress and make it through finals. Last year, Duke University in Durham, N.C., hosted a tealaxing event during which students could make their own tea, jewelry and heating pads.

Holiday season (All month)

holiday serving

Get guests and staff into the holiday spirit by decorating the kitchen. Last December, the nutrition team at Heritage High School in Leesburg, Va., decked out its serving line with holiday swag.

New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31)

Holiday New Year 2019

Operators can offer a look back on the past 12 months to celebrate the end of the year. Because its campus was closed for winter break, the dining team at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., celebrated the end of 2017 on social media. The dining team curated its top nine Instagram posts from the year and shared them with its social media followers.

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Industry News & Opinion

Howard County Public School System in Ellicott City, Md., will be offering free lunch to students for two days during winter break, The Baltimore Sun reports.

This is the first time the district will be providing meals over winter break. The lunch will be served on Dec. 27 and 28 at two sites in the community.

About 22.2% of the district’s students are enrolled for free or reduced-price meals. The district served 66,276 meals last summer during its summer meal program .

Read the full story via baltimoresun.com .

Industry News & Opinion

Cranston School District in Cranston, R.I., has hired a collection agency to help reduce its lunch debt , NBC 10 reports.

The district’s chief operating officer sent a letter to parents saying that the district would be using a collection agency next year to collect outstanding lunch balances after other collection methods have failed. Parents who owe $20 or more and haven’t paid in the last 60 days will receive a letter from the agency starting Jan. 2, 2019.

Cranston accumulated $95,508 in unpaid lunch balances between Sept. 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018. The district’s meal...

Ideas and Innovation
hot school lunch

As lunch shaming remains in the national spotlight, many school districts have turned away from providing alternate meals, such as a cheese sandwich, to students who can’t pay for lunch. While this ensures that students are provided a full meal and aren’t stigmatized, it has caused some districts to quickly accumulate lunch debt . In order to keep funds under control, school districts throughout the country are now relying on assistance from their communities to defray the cost of some meals.

1. School lunch fairies

Students at Apollo-Ridge School District in Spring Church, Pa.,...

Industry News & Opinion

When looking for a way to get more use out of its Canyon Cafe, open during the weekends only, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., tried something new: free cooking classes.

Classes are open to students, as well as faculty and staff, and are taught by Campus Dining Executive Chef Michael Albright, according to Mustang News .

The weekday classes, which are capped at 14 participants, have taught attendees how to make items such as probiotic overnight oats and “the perfect turkey.” Interested parties can sign up online via the school’s dining...

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