Districts making healthy strides but need equipment

Eighty-eight percent of districts need at least one new piece of equipment to serve nutritious foods, according to new study.

Published in FSD Update



  • 88% of school districts in Illinois are successfully serving healthy meals that meet strong nutrition standards.
  • 80% of school districts in Illinois need at least one piece of equipment to better serve nutritious foods. The median cost of this equipment is $20,000 per school. Overall, $200.8 million worth of foodservice equipment is needed in Illinois to better serve healthy foods.
  • 53% of school districts in Illinois have at least some budget for kitchen equipment upgrades. Of the districts with budgets, 49% expected the resources to be adequate. 25% of SFAs in Illinois were unsure whether they had a budget to purchase equipment.
  • 59% of the districts in Illinois need kitchen infrastructure changes in at least one school.

Top school kitchen equipment needs in Illinois:

  • 41%: Walk-in refrigerators. Cost to meet statewide need: $16.5 million.
  • 40%: Software programs. Cost to meet statewide need: $444,000.
  • 36%: Sets of knives with cutting boards. Cost to meet statewide need: $586,000.
  • 35%: Dry-storage shelving units. Cost to meet statewide need: $629,000.
  • 35%: Walk-in freezers. Cost to meet statewide need: $15.4 million.

Source: Kitchen Infrastructure and Training for Schools Survey, 2012, ©2014 The Pew Charitable Trust

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