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


Maine

Highlights:

  • 84% of school districts in Maine are successfully serving healthy meals that meet strong nutrition standards.
  • 99% of school districts in Maine need at least one piece of equipment to better serve nutritious foods. The median cost of this equipment is $45,000 per school. Overall, $58.8 million worth of foodservice equipment is needed in Maine to better serve healthy foods.
  • 31% of school districts in Maine have at least some budget for kitchen equipment upgrades. Of the districts with budgets, 40% expected the resources to be adequate. 44% of SFAs in Maine were unsure whether they had a budget to purchase equipment.
  • 48% of the districts in Maine need kitchen infrastructure changes in at least one school.

Top school kitchen equipment needs in Maine:

  • 58%: Serving-portion utensils. Cost to meet statewide need: $81,000.
  • 56%: Utility carts. Cost to meet statewide need: $124,000.
  • 52%: Scales. Cost to meet statewide need: $210,000.
  • 49%: Sets of knives with cutting boards. Cost to meet statewide need: $136,000.
  • 47%: Food processors. Cost to meet statewide need: $353,000.


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

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
cafeteria

Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Building...
Ideas and Innovation
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

FSD Resources