House dining services looks for feedback on all nine eateries

Restaurant Associates surveying customers for feedback on ambiance, sanitation, price, quality and more.

Nov. 7—Before the cupcake, Daniel Minchew’s lunch in the Longworth Cafe, in Washington, D.C., totaled $5.50. Dessert pushed it to $7.75.

“Prices are fair — all of this for less than $8,” said Minchew, who ventures from his job in the Capitol Visitor Center to the House office complex a few times a week for breakfast and midday meals. His favorites come from the global food section, priced at 55 cents per ounce. Monday’s selection was Mexican.

“I tend to look at the international choices first, salads second,” Minchew said. Greens from the salad bar go for 48 cents per ounce. “I love the barbecue and brisket, but it’s just a little too heavy for me most days.”

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Seafood—whether it’s in the form of fish and chips or tuna salad—is a menu staple for many foodservice locations. But seafood doesn’t have to be limited to just the center of the plate—it shines on other parts of the menu as well, from soups and salads to sides and snacks.

Here are four ways that seafood and fish are moving outside of the main course.

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Regional School Unit 17 in Belfast, Maine, is banning straws beginning on Monday, the Penbay Pilot reports.

The ban was put into action by a student group and the district’s foodservice director. Over the years, the district has also phased out plastic utensils and plans to completely eliminate foam food trays this upcoming school year.

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School districts in Jefferson, Oswego, and St. Lawrence counties in New York will be expanding their farm-to-school programs as the result of new funding, Watertown Daily Times reports.

The expansions will be made possible by the Seeds for Success program, which awarded grants to seven school districts last year to begin farm-to-school programs. This year, it will provide $5,000 grants to an additional 19 districts to either start or expand their local food efforts.

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The system, named Open Fields, allows foodservice vendors to create and monitor their own sustainability programs. Users can run their own metrics on various sustainability initiatives based on factors such as location, product, spend, attribute, farm/vendor, miles to location and distributor. Managers can also generate reports on their organization’s sustainable purchases.

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