New Haven schools on track to eliminate $3.5 million deficit

The New Haven Board of Education is focusing on cutting expenses by 5% and increasing revenue by 3%.

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—After starting the year with a $3.5 million budget deficit in food services, the New Haven Board of Education is on track to end the year with a balanced Food Service account, Chief Operating Officer Will Clark announced at the School Board meeting last week.

With 46 cafeterias across the district, NHPS is responsible for serving a healthy breakfast and lunch to over 21,000 students each day. Over seventy percent of these students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and the federal government reimburses the district for meals provided to such students. Though the district gets some money from the government, balancing the food service account is challenging. Last year, the combination of high costs and reduced revenues in food service accounted for roughly 50 percent of the city’s entire education budget deficit. Clark and Food Services Director Gail Sharry have aimed to close the deficit this year by cutting expenses by five percent and by increasing revenue by 3 percent. Clark said he is confident that through these efforts the district will end the year with a balanced food service budget.

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We have kitchens without backflow preventers or potable water to wash greens, so we set up a salad shaker bar with precut, prewashed produce. The cups are filled with lettuce, and students can add their choice of toppings and dressings in the top and shake it up. It’s really cool to see them excited about vegetables.

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