Benita Gingerella


 Contact Benita

Benita is an editor for FoodService Director and has been with the publication since 2016. In addition to covering various sectors of the noncommercial industry, Benita is also responsible for several of the magazine's most beloved sections, including Steal This Idea and The Line. In her spare time, Benita is an avid restaurant-goer and loves to travel extensively.

Articles by
Benita Gingerella

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School Nutrition Association calls on USDA to halt further restrictions on school meals

The department should instead focus on finding ways to expand school meal access, the SNA says.


Maine looks at longer school lunch periods

Also in this week’s legislative update: Nevada’s summer school students may soon be served breakfast and lunch, and universal free meals bills move forward in Montana and Vermont.

Director Joe Urban has come up with a menu development process that ensures dishes are both cost effective and exciting for students.

Cafeteria staff and other service employees at the Los Angeles school district are set to receive a 30% wage increase, fully paid healthcare benefits and more.

The proposed rule would lower the percentage of low-income students required for schools and districts to participate in the program, which enables serving free meals to all students.

Also in this week’s K-12 legislative update: Pennsylvania looks to continue its universal free breakfast program and a federal bill would require schools to serve soy milk.

Over 23 million breakfasts have been served to students through the program, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The workers, represented by SEIU Local 99, are calling for higher wages, more full-time work and increased staffing levels.

The Higher Education Enhancement Act is now headed to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk.

Under SB 1164, Florida college institutions, contracted foodservice providers and other state entities would be required to prioritize commodities grown or processed locally

A recent survey showed that 126 school districts in the state have accumulated a total of $1,414,122.86 in current unpaid school meal debt as of March 2023.

The state would join California, Maine and Colorado in offering universal free meals at school.

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