Jignesh "Jay" Pandya of Engaged Brands purchased Boston Market from Sun Capital Partners in April, with plans to open 100 new units of the fast-casual chain by year's end. The company brought on a new marketing chief in May and Pandya plans to unveil a "reimagined, redefined" Boston Market, which includes a new lunch menu, in the next three to four months.
The Ector County Independent School District in Texas will provide free, universal meals to all students during the coming school year at school and via pickup services. The district will use funding from two federal programs to support the breakfast and lunch service; elementary students are not required to complete an application, but parents should fill out an income survey, while middle- and high-school students need a completed paper or online application.
Michael Rapino, CEO for Live Nation, has pledged $10 million towards diversity efforts within his company, including doubling Black leadership and bolstering gender parity. Rapino detailed his plan in an open letter to employees and touched on how social injustices that have recently surfaced in the US helped shape his proposal. "As the leader in live music, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to amplify the conversation around anti-racism and Black Lives Matter in order to be a part of the solution," he says.
The National Restaurant Association has sent a "Blueprint for Restaurant Revival" to Congress that urges lawmakers to create a targeted relief fund and provide liability protections and payroll tax relief for restaurant employees. "Despite losing more jobs and revenue than any other industry in this country, Congress has chosen not to advance a recovery package that is tailored for the unique challenges of a restaurant on the cusp of bankruptcy," said Sean Kennedy, the association's executive vice president of public affairs.
A state waiver in North Carolina and one from the USDA will allow a school district to continue to provide free meals to students when the school year resumes. Lisa Altmann, nutrition director for Rowan-Salisbury Schools, said the district's new equipment, such as heat-sealing machines, will make it even easier to distribute free hot meals both at school and via pickup meal services for virtual students when classes start Aug 17.
The likelihood that a child born today will receive full vaccinations with all the globally recommended vaccines by age 5 is less than 20%, according to a UN report that surveyed 82 countries. "The avoidable suffering and death caused by children missing out on routine immunizations could be far greater than COVID-19 itself," said World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Registered dietitian Lisa Drayer writes that even though people may have gained weight because they used food as a coping measure during the novel coronavirus pandemic, they should be kind to themselves and not judge too harshly. Drayer notes that summer offers the opportunity to enjoy healthful foods and get physical activity outdoors, while making dietary tweaks such as establishing a food curfew and limiting indulgences to just one per day may be helpful.
CBS and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are committing to a multi-year partnership in an effort to diversify content and the creators contributing to TV programming and streaming platforms. "An important way to diversify and grow our storytelling is to expand our horizons beyond the traditional studio-producer system," says CBS President and CEO George Cheeks.
Wendy's and Five Guys are among the first chains to implement Coca-Cola's contactless, QR code-enabled pouring technology for its Freestyle soda fountains. Restaurants are adopting a range of touchless features in an effort to minimize the coronavirus' spread, such as menus accessible via QR code and the Touchless Tap Key from beer tap company iPourIt that allows customers to pour drinks without touching the tap handle.
Minneapolis Public Schools is serving between 30,000 and 50,000 meals daily this summer -- at least double its typical average summer meal service -- and is extending the program until Aug. 21, said the district's culinary coordinator for compliance and development, Sara Eugene. In St. Paul, Minn., school nutrition professionals have served over 5 million meals since schools closed in March, with 450,000 meals distributed in a single week, said Stacy Koppen, the district's director of nutrition services.
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