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

North Carolina


  • 100% of school districts in North Carolina are successfully serving healthy meals that meet strong nutrition standards.
  • 93% of school districts in North Carolina need at least one piece of equipment to better serve nutritious foods. The median cost of this equipment is $49,000 per school. Overall, $140 million worth of foodservice equipment is needed in North Carolina to better serve healthy foods.
  • 75% of school districts in North Carolina have at least some budget for kitchen equipment upgrades.
  • Of the districts with budgets, 36% expected the resources to be adequate. 15% of SFAs in North Carolina were unsure whether they had a budget to purchase equipment.
  • 70% of the districts in North Carolina need kitchen infrastructure changes in at least one school.

Top school kitchen equipment needs in North Carolina:

  • 62%: Utility carts. Cost to meet statewide need: $572,000.
  • 58%: Walk-in refrigerators. Cost to meet statewide need: $14 million.
  • 52%: Serving-portion utensils. Cost to meet statewide need: $174,000.
  • 52%: Walk-in freezers. Cost to meet statewide need: $10.6 million.
  • 50%: Hot holding cabinets. Cost to meet statewide need: $3.3 million.

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

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

Menu Development
meatloaf slices plate

“This is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had,” a diner at Alcatel-Lucent telecommunications in Naperville, Ill., once told chef Iraj Fernando. The dish was rooted in a tried-and-true source—the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.”

“I just seasoned the breadcrumbs differently, used fresh parsley and beat the eggs to make them frothier,” says Fernando, executive chef and manager for Southern Foodservice Management.

Consumer interest is up for classic and comforting meat dishes like meatballs (16%), beef pot pie (26%) and meatloaf (12%) for dinner now compared to two years ago, shows...

Ideas and Innovation
oxford school district cafeteria

We have spent considerable money making cafeterias cool again. New paint jobs, crazy color patterns, custom graphics and changes in lighting schemes have made some of our cafes popular gathering places. We’ve also experimented with videos, cable TV programs and music. We involved a number of student groups and student input in improving the atmosphere, especially in our high school and middle school cafeterias.

Ideas and Innovation
kale quinoa salad

With all the hype around probiotics, we decided to create a daily dish that incorporates probiotics in addition to prebiotics. You rarely hear about prebiotics, and this was a great way to highlight how the two work synergistically to maintain a healthy gut. Our chefs have developed menu items such as roasted salmon with yogurt and mint vinaigrette; kale and quinoa salad with warm maple dressing; and leek soup with pickled cucumbers, to name a few.

FSD Resources