3 ways foodservice operators are building community among diners

community meal

Foodservice operators across the country are thinking up new ways to help customers bond while breaking bread. Here are three events they’re holding to encourage diners to make mealtime connections.  

Photos courtesy of Thinkstock

1. Monthly community meals


Concrete School District in Concrete, Wash., hosts free community dinners at its high school cafeteria each month. The meals are often served before or after an event at the school and are sponsored by a community organization such as the town council or the district’s farm-to-school program.

2. Block parties

block party bunting

With the help of the dining team, residents at Fox Hill Village in Westwood, Mass., can hold block parties in their wing’s common area to socialize with neighbors over food and drinks. Food Service Director Cindy Fuller says that residents make food and drink requests and then the team takes care of the rest.

3. Lunch with local law enforcement

sheriff badge

At Eastmont School District in East Wenatchee, Wash., local police officers are able to enjoy free breakfast or lunch inside the school cafeterias. While the free meals add an extra security presence at school, they are also intended to connect students with the officers and allow them to build relationships in a casual setting.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Anchorage School District in Anchorage, Alaska, is offering free meals to students this week while schools are closed due to the recent earthquake, KTVA reports.

The meals are being served at nine schools throughout the district between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and are available to anyone 18 and under. The district has provided school buses at each location to allow students to eat inside.

Read the full story via ktva.com .

Industry News & Opinion

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced its final rule on school meal standards .

The final rule builds upon the USDA's changes to school meal standards announced last year . It will keep the sodium Target 1 limits in place through school year 2023-2024, and Target 2 limits will go into effect for the 2024-2025 school year. The final sodium target (Target 3) will be eliminated.

While operators have been able to meet sodium Target 1 limits, many felt that the second two would be difficult to acheive. Over 90% of respondents in a School Nutrition...

Industry News & Opinion

Cafeteria employees throughout northern Ohio are holding an auction to raise funds for their peers in Paradise, Calif., impacted by the wildfires that struck the state earlier this fall , WFMJ reports.

The employees will host an auction this week at Glenwood Junior High School in Boardman, Ohio. Money raised from the event will go to help nutrition staff at schools in Paradise. The items listed in the auction will be donated by local community members.

Read the full story via wfmj.com .

Industry News & Opinion

A cafeteria worker at Smith High School in Greensboro, N.C., has been credited with helping prevent a school shooting , News & Record reports.

Earlier this week, a man entered the cafeteria during lunch through an unlocked door, where he was confronted by a cafeteria employee. The man pulled out a gun, and the employee immediately radioed for help. The man was taken into custody and no one was harmed.

As shootings continue to take place throughout the country, schools are taking extra safety precautions such as participating in active shooter training to help be better...

FSD Resources