Three States Expand Access to Free School Meals

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee have been selected by the US Department of Agriculture to participate in the initial year of an innovative universal free meal-service option that makes it easier for low-income children to receive meals in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The Community Eligibility Option will allow schools in high-poverty areas to eliminate applications and provide free breakfast and lunch to all students.

Under the option, schools use pre-existing data to determine the amount of reimbursement they can claim from the USDA. The determination is based primarily on the percentage of households in that community that are already participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Community Eligibility Option is one of the early reforms enacted as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in December 2010. The act requires the Community Eligibility Option to be phased in during three years. The USDA identified 10 states as being eligible to apply for consideration in the first year of the option. The USDA selected the three states based on information each state submitted.

“Community eligibility is a great way for schools to cut through burdensome red tape for themselves and low-income families so that children in high-poverty areas have access to the nutrition they need to learn and thrive,” Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon said in a press release. “Schools should benefit from reduced paperwork, parents will not have to fill out duplicative forms and children in need will get better access to healthy school meals.

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Sodexo has appointed Cathy Desquesses as its chief people officer, the company announced on Friday.

Before joining Sodexo, Desquesses held multiple leadership roles in the human resources department at General Electric, where she worked for 20 years. Most recently, she was the global HR leader for GE Power Gas.

Desquesses will begin her new role on July 1 and will report to Sodexo CEO Denis Machuel. She will replace Juan Pablo Urruticoechea, who is moving into a new position at Sodexo.

Photo courtesy of Sodexo

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About two-thirds (66%) of employers rank the issue among their top two employment-related legal worries, even without a change in the pertinent laws and regulations, the canvass found.

What has changed, concluded surveyor Littler Mendelson, one of the nation’s largest labor-focused legal firms, are employee expectations and the social climate.

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Noncommercial dining centers are often filled with their own Starbucks, Burger Kings, Panera Breads and dozens of other nationally recognized brands. Branded concepts, whether corporate brands or self-operated, offer diners familiar names, menu items, and a sense of place. This translates into more money spent and more diner loyalty for foodservice operators.

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Wood-fired ovens take the biggest slice of the pie when it comes to pizza-cooking preference for consumers. Just fewer than half (45%) of consumers say they prefer a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven compared to other oven cooking methods. Here are the styles of ovens pizza consumers prefer most.

Wood-fired oven 45% Gas oven 13% Electric oven 11% Grilled 4% Coal oven 4% No preference 23%

Source: Technomic 2018 Pizza Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

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