Philadelphia School District reopens some full-service cafeterias

District had moved toward feeding from satellite kitchens, but critics say quality suffered.

Nov. 5—Squeezed by increasingly brutal budgets, the Philadelphia School District in recent years has moved to close dozens of full-service cafeterias, switching those schools to meals prepared in a warehouse in Brooklyn and trucked into Philadelphia.

Students, advocates, and even district staff agree: The pre-plated food is often less than appealing.

Of the district's roughly 280 meal sites, most—about 200—still receive the "satellite" meals made out of state, frozen, transported, and then warmed in school kitchens. But in an effort to make lunch more appetizing, the district converted 10 cafeterias back to full service in September, with on-site lunch ladies preparing meals daily.