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


Maryland

Highlights:

  • 96% of school districts in Maryland are successfully serving healthy meals that meet strong nutrition standards.
  • 94% of school districts in Maryland need at least one piece of equipment to better serve nutritious foods. The median cost of this equipment is $51,000 per school. Overall, $61 million worth of foodservice equipment is needed in Maryland to better serve healthy foods.
  • 83% of school districts in Maryland have at least some budget for kitchen equipment upgrades. Of the districts with budgets, 13% expected the resources to be adequate. 0% of SFAs in Maryland were unsure whether they had a budget to purchase equipment.
  • 78% of the districts in Maryland need kitchen infrastructure changes in at least one school.

Top school kitchen equipment needs in Maryland:

  • 83%: Walk-in freezers. Cost to meet statewide need: $6.7 million.
  • 78%: Walk-in refrigerators. Cost to meet statewide need: $8.8 million.
  • 72%: Cold-food merchandisers. Cost to meet statewide need: $3 million.
  • 72%: Sets of knives with cutting boards. Cost to meet statewide need: $472,000.
  • 67%: Reach-in refrigerators. Cost to meet statewide need: $4 million.


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

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
pho bowl

Achieving authenticity can be tricky. Late last year, Oberlin College landed in the news when students protested the way dining services at the Ohio school was botching ethnic food, serving up inauthentic versions of Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s a challenge other operators are confronting, too, often tapping staff and patrons for inspiration.

At 260-bed Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite, Executive Chef Bradley Czajka, himself of Polish-Ukrainian descent, started Global Stations as a way to recognize the diversity of cultures at the hospital. “We have such an...

Menu Development
sweet pea ravioli

On any given night at the Wake Robin senior living facility in Shelburne, Vt., residents may find spring sweet pea and mascarpone ravioli with white wine cream sauce or acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and cranberries on the menu. These dishes, along with a new sweet-potato burger topped with cilantro aioli, aren’t just delicious, says Director of Dining Services Kathy King. They’re also completely vegetarian.

The popularity of Meatless Mondays and the growing number of people who call themselves “flexitarians” have impacted menu development in every noncommercial sector. Although...

Managing Your Business
umass amherst food

Restaurateurs in Amherst, Mass., aren’t happy with UMass Dining .

Registered dietitian Dianne Sutherland told local NBC affiliate WWLP News in May that the high quality of food served on campus means students aren’t visiting neighborhood eateries as frequently as those businesses might like.

“Even our vendors who we work with, they get complaints from the restaurants that students are staying on campus,” she said. “They are already paying for the food; why should they [go] off campus to eat?” More than 19,000 Amherst students are on a meal plan—6,000 of whom live off campus...

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce eat dining

Forced to battle crumbling infrastructure and a constant churn of trends, sometimes the best way to save a foodservice operation is to change it entirely. As Steve Mangan, director of dining at the University of Michigan, puts it, “At some point when your building starts to fail, the cost of maintenance stands out.” But for operators with limited budgets, the challenge is discerning the right time to do so—and how far to take it.

At Jefferson High School, change came because little worked anymore. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, school’s cafeteria hadn’t been updated since 1957; students...

FSD Resources