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



  • 92% of school districts in Virginia are successfully serving healthy meals that meet strong nutrition standards.
  • 89% of school districts in Virginia need at least one piece of equipment to better serve nutritious foods. The median cost of this equipment is $52,000 per school. Overall, $86 million worth of foodservice equipment is needed in Virginia to better serve healthy foods.
  • 70% of school districts in Virginia have at least some budget for kitchen equipment upgrades. Of the districts with budgets, 39% expected the resources to be adequate. 15% of SFAs in Virginia were unsure whether they had a budget to purchase equipment.
  • 59% of the districts in Virginia need kitchen infrastructure changes in at least one school.

Top school kitchen equipment needs in Virginia:

  • 59%: Walk-in refrigerators. Cost to meet statewide need: $9.1 million.
  • 48%: Walk-in freezers. Cost to meet statewide need: $8.6 million.
  • 44%: Hot-food serving line counters. Cost to meet statewide need: $2.7 million.
  • 42%: Combi ovens. Cost to meet statewide need: $10.6 million.
  • 42%: Convection ovens. Cost to meet statewide need: $3.8 million.

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

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
wurster west may 2016

At a nearly 150-year-old university, every stone column and classroom has treasured stories to tell. But with that history come the logistical challenges of operating in outdated spaces—especially for foodservice. Such is the case at University of California at Berkeley, where longtime cafe Ramona’s in Wurster Hall closed in March to make way for an updated, as-yet unnamed concept.

With little more than a steam table and coolers, Ramona’s was limited by its lack of ventilation. And, as a former classroom space, it never was intended to function for foodservice, says Jennifer Wolch...

Ideas and Innovation
chicken herbs

We make and broadcast short YouTube videos on TV monitors to educate our customers about cooking techniques, like how to cut up a chicken or what herbs and spices go well together. The monitors also are used to display daily menus, nutritional and allergen information, upcoming foodservice events and local weather forecasts.

Ideas and Innovation
leftovers containers

We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

Menu Development
muse school produce

Kayla Webb, executive chef at Muse School, has transitioned the private K-12 day school in Calabasas, Calif., to an entirely vegan menu over a three-year period. Webb talks about her menuing, and how the school’s kitchen earned the title of “greenest restaurant in the world” from the Green Restaurant Association.

Q: How did you help parents get used to the idea of an all plant-based diet?

A: The first year, we didn’t announce it. We were just serving one plant-based meal a week, so it wasn’t that drastic. We do monthly Muse Talks where we invite different speakers to our school to...

FSD Resources