Virginia district's lunches decline 30% since implementing new meal guidelines

Botetourt County Public Schools served almost 200,000 fewer meals in 2013-2014 than in 2010-2011.

ROANOKE, Va.—At the July School Board meeting Superintendent Dr. Tony Brads delivered the bad news on the School Nutrition Program, a once thriving entity. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act implemented in 2010-11 had an unintended result. Over the next three years, The Botetourt County School Nutrition served less meals in 2013-14 than it did in 1994-95 and almost two hundred thousand meals less than it did in 2010-11. Meal sales are at the lowest in 20 years.

In 2011-12 the school division’ cafeterias sold 619,476 meals. In 2013-14, they sold 423, 921 meals. The numbers reflect s a drop of about 32.4 per cent in three years. In any business, that would be significant.

Botetourt County Schools did not return money to the county for the CIP fund for the first time in years. The plummet in cafeteria food sales was part of the reason. Though the School Nutrition Budget is a stand-alone budget, but debits must equal credits. The cafeterias could not meet the budget in sales this past school year. Fewer full time workers and different expectations begin the 2014-15 budget and school year.

Chris Morris who heads up the School Nutrition program is pragmatic about what happened. “The new food guidelines simply do not appeal to the students in this area.” Vegetables like corn and green beans have been bumped by kale, carrots, sweet potatoes and other vegetables that most kids avoid. “We have found once the elementary student leaves us, they don’t come back,” she explained. The new offerings are more expensive to  purchase and the county nutrition program uses a three division system to purchase foods to make costs as low as possible.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Italian food hall chain Eataly is making plans for a 2018 initial public offering in its home country, according to a report this week in Financial Times.

The company plans to list shares on the Italian stock exchange in Milan “as early as next year,” Eataly Executive Chairman Andrea Guerra told Financial Times .

Eataly is eager to expand the presence of its massive Italian food emporiums in the U.S., which have helped spur the growing food hall trend . The company has five locations here, with two in New York City and one each in Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. Financial...

Industry News & Opinion

Students staffing the foodservice department at Rutgers University will soon get an hourly pay bump, as the New Brunswick, N.J., university is raising its wage for student workers to $11 an hour, philly.com reports.

The increase will go in effect Jan. 1 and will impact 13,000 students.

The fight to raise wages at the school was spearheaded by student group United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), which is continuing to push the university to increase student wages to $15.

The fight for a $15 wage for student workers has spread at schools throughout the country,...

Industry News & Opinion

After shutting down 265 schools due to ongoing wildfires, the Los Angeles Unified School District kept three schools open on Friday and Saturday to provide meals for students and their families, the Los Angeles Times reports.

At one of the schools, employees and volunteers handed out around 100 meals on Friday and 270 meals on Saturday. The meals included items such as dragonfruit punch, raisins, bananas, sunflower kernels, whole-grain cinnamon graham crackers, sunflower seed butter and fat-free chocolate milk.

Around 80% of students in the district come from low-income...

Sponsored Content
Breakfast chili

From Bush’s Best®.

While decadent plates of French toast and pancakes stacked high will always be breakfast favorites, it’s undeniable that savory breakfast items are on the rise in many foodservice operations. Menu items such as avocado toast and omelets aren’t new, of course, but consumers’ preferences for better-for-you food choices, along with their desire for global flavors, are driving this trend.

According to a recent Technomic Breakfast report, consumer demand for vegetarian ingredients has led to an increase of ingredients like soy, tofu, beans, lentils, seeds,...

FSD Resources