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.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
trail mix

We’ve added fueling stations in our units for our workers who didn’t have time to eat or just need a snack. We have areas set up with trail mix, crackers, cookies and water. It helps us avoid people feeling or getting ill, especially when we get closer to exam periods and student workers are studying and not taking the time to eat.

Menu Development
quinoa bowl

In a time of growing health consciousness, it might not be enough anymore for food to be merely filling. According to Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report , diners are looking for food with a function, such as those with high protein content, immunity-boosting properties, antioxidants, probiotics and more. The data suggests 63% of consumers see these foods as healthier than those without any specific nutritional function—and would be more likely to buy them.

But are those stated preferences translating on an operational level? There, the answer is less clear. Baby...

Ideas and Innovation
reusable coffee cup thermos

We were inspired by a book titled “Influence” to start a sustainable cup program called My Cup. All 15,000 new students receive a reusable cup with their name on it, which they can use at the dining halls. Personalizing helps them invest in the program and actually use it.

Menu Development
ranch dressing chicken fingers

While salad bars are often the first place K-12 operators look to incorporate more fresh produce, few go as far as making their own salad dressings. But last fall, in a continuing effort to transition from prepackaged meals to an all-scratch menu, Mark Augustine, executive chef of culinary and nutrition services for Minneapolis Public Schools, switched to concocting four varieties in-house—ranch, Caesar, Italian and Asian vinaigrette. The move, designed to eliminate artificial ingredients and lower fat and sodium, presented the biggest challenge when it came to ranch dressing, the school-...

FSD Resources