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USDA may free up $1B to help schools buy commodities

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In this edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments affecting onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

  1. USDA may free up $1B to help schools buy commodities

With Congress so far declining to extend the pandemic-era universal school meal program that expires on June 30, Biden Administration officials are exploring using about $1 billion from an Agriculture Department fund to help schools purchase U.S. commodities for their meal programs. A USDA official not authorized to speak publicly on the matter confirmed the department intends to deploy the funds later this month, but final arrangements are still underway.

Read more: As universal school meals program nears end, Biden eyes other ways to get food to school kids

  1. Aramark and Starr Restaurants to debut new eatery at Wells Fargo arena

Aramark Sports+Entertainment and Starr Restaurants have announced plans for a new sit-down restaurant concept at the Wells Fargo Center, home arena of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, that will mark their first full-scale restaurant project as part of the strategic collaboration announced last year. The restaurant will replace The Grille at Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia and is expected to open in October at the start of the 2022-23 NHL and NBA seasons.

Read more: Wells Fargo Center and Aramark Sports + Entertainment Announce Plans for New Club Level Restaurant in Collaboration With Starr Restaurants

  1. College grads embracing the remote work option, survey finds

A recently released survey from employment consultancy firm Velocity Global shows that U.S. college-aged adults are embracing remote work in their career transition plans, with 69% saying they are somewhat or extremely likely to consider a job that is entirely remote and 80% saying they would consider taking less money for their job if it allowed a remote option. Meanwhile, only 18% said they prefer to work from an office five days per week and 44% said they plan to have a traditional Monday-Friday, 9-to-5 in-person job. The College to Career Survey examined 1,000 college-aged respondents’ attitudes on remote work and their work-life balance expectations as they prepare to transition into the workforce.

Read more: New Survey Shows the Next Generation Embraces Remote Work for College to Career Transition

  1. Assisted living facility finds revenue stream with high-end restaurant

While some nursing homes nationwide are reportedly facing shutdowns due to staffing shortages fueled by the COVID pandemic, others like the Grill Room at The Harbor Chase of Prince William Commons in Virginia are improvising by offering farm to table, fine dining to the surrounding community. The strategy is to attract new guests and potential clients to the assisted living facility and give it a new source of revenue by offering a five-course meal that is made to order and plated by some of the industry’s top chefs for $60.

Read more: Virginia assisted living center offers affordable fine dining experience

  1. Children’s hospital debuts edible garden

UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh has opened its new Edible Garden and Mindfulness Path on the hospital’s third-floor terrace. It features metal planters and a living wall of house plants, herbs, berries and grasses, with the food grown there to be used in dishes in the hospital’s cafeteria.

Read more: UPMC Children’s opens its edible garden

Bonus: The story of two purchasing/stocking heroes of the pandemic

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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