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



  • 98% of school districts in Arkansas are successfully serving healthy meals that meet strong nutrition standards.
  • 92% of school districts in Arkansas need at least one piece of equipment to better serve nutritious foods. The median cost of this equipment is $59,000 per school. Overall, $103.3 million worth of foodservice equipment is needed in Arkansas to better serve healthy foods.
  • 23% of school districts in Arkansas have at least some budget for kitchen equipment upgrades. Of the districts with budgets, 41% expected the resources to be adequate. 58% of SFAs in Arkansas were unsure whether they had a budget to purchase equipment.
  • 60% of the districts in Arkansas need kitchen infrastructure changes in at least one school.

Top school kitchen equipment needs in Arkansas:

  • 60%: Hot holding cabinets. Cost to meet statewide need: $3.2 million.
  • 51%: Utility carts. Cost to meet statewide need: $434,000.
  • 48%: Steam table pans. Cost to meet statewide need: $164,000.
  • 47%: Scales. Cost to meet statewide need: $393,000.
  • 46%: Walk-in refrigerators. Cost to meet statewide need: $11 million.

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

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