New school meal pattern gets blame for Mass. districts' money loss

One district projects a $58,000 deficit for this school year.

May 20—Students at Dedham (Mass.) Public Schools aren't fans of the new whole-grain chocolate chip cookies served in the cafeteria, and cookies are just the tip of the iceberg. Though officials say that students will eventually adjust to their new choices, school budgets have taken a hit because of lost revenue from snack items such as cookies and added expenses resulting from the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which regulates school lunches.

The state and federal laws took effect last fall, and officials are projecting a $58,000 deficit for the Dedham food service department this school year. Districts across the Commonwealth are feeling the effects. Dedham Food Service Director Jeanne Johnson put together a list of 25 nearby districts, including Canton, Needham, Norwood, and Stoughton, that also are losing money. Districts that have been the most successful with the new lunch regulations started early, according to Kathleen Millett, executive director of the Office of Nutrition, Health, and Safety in the state education department.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The new unpaid-balance policy at Canon-McMillan School District in Pittsburgh is making waves after a former cafeteria worker sounded off about the practice on social media.

Stacy Koltiska said she quit her job with the district after being forced to take hot meals away from students who owed lunch money, CBS News reports .

Under a new policy that was implemented at Canon-McMillan this year, students whose lunch debt exceeds $25 are not allowed to receive a hot lunch. Children in grades K-6 are given a sandwich in its place, and older students receive no lunch. A recent...

Industry News & Opinion

Due to low participation in its lunch program, Talawanda School District in Oxford, Ohio, is raising the price of school meals this year, Patch.com reports .

The cost of school lunches will see a 30-cent increase, half of which is being enacted to cover the district’s budget. The other half is being required by the government to cover the cost of free and reduced-price lunches provided to low-income families. Prior to this year, the district had not raised prices since 2009.

The district’s cafeterias have experienced a decline in student participation since implementing the...

Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Eastern...
Sponsored Content
chili flakes and peppers spicy hot

From Catallia.

When planning your menus, take note: college and university students think spicy is hot.

Fifty-seven percent of consumers age 18-34 find spicy flavors, “extremely appealing,” according to Technomic. And almost 50% of college students surveyed said they would like their schools to offer more ethnic foods and beverages, states a recent Technomic College & University Consumer Trend Report. Translation: they like their food kicked up a notch!

More Options than Ever

“Students of today are all about flavor,” says Steve Mangan, director of dining for...

FSD Resources