Texas district selects Food Bank as meals vendor

In addition to offering prepackaged meals, the Food Bank also provides nutrition education services to students and families.

Published in FSD K-12 Spotlight

The foodservice department at KIPP San Antonio schools has a new meals provider this year: the San Antonio Food Bank.

The Food Bank provides meals of donated and surplus foods to 240,000 families and individuals in the San Antonio area. This is the first time it has provided meals to schools, though not the first time it has fed students.

Julia Manoli, operations manager for this four-school college preparatory public district in Texas, was looking for a new meal provider that was closer to home. “Our previous vendor was very far away,”Manoli says. “The food had to go many miles. The Food Bank is located very close to us, so it’s much more of a community-type delivery.”

The Food Bank provides the district with refrigerated, prepackaged breakfasts and lunches that meet the USDA’s National School Breakfast and Lunch Program. It also provides milk and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. The Food Bank makes daily deliveries to each of the four schools, dropping off that day’s lunch and the following day’s breakfast. Foodservice employees reheat the meals to serve to the students.

“We found that the San Antonio Food Bank, because they are already so much in the community and already feed lots of people, already has the facilities [to provide the meals for us],” Manoli says. “This is something they also wanted, to start doing school meals. They are already doing some after-school meals and summer feeding. This is the first time they’ve ever done regular NSLP meals.”

The Food Bank designed a preliminary menu, which was based largely off USDA-developed menus. Manoli’s team worked to tweak the menus to fit the district’s population. Manoli, who believes this partnership is the first between a food bank and school district, says the agreement works because the San Antonio Food Bank was also heavily involved in the district.

Through grant money, the Food Bank was already providing food-based programs for the district’s students and families to eat at home. One such initiative is a monthly distribution of produce, which is available for free to the families. Another is a healthy cooking class for middle school students, where participants learn some basic culinary skills and get to try out some new foods. Because the Food Bank is located in the heart of the district’s community, Manoli hopes students will be able to take field trips to the location to see their meals being prepared and to tour the Food Bank’s garden.

Manoli’s meal costs have decreased between 15% and 20% since starting the partnership with the Food Bank. 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The School District of Philadelphia and Baltimore City Public Schools are the latest districts in the Urban School Food Alliance to switch to compostable plates.

The move to the eco-friendlier products will save 19 million polystyrene products from landfills, according to a news release .

Schools often use polystyrene products due to their low cost. Polystyrene trays cost on average around 4 cents apiece, while compostable plates cost an average of 12 cents each. The Urban School Food Alliance’s collective buying power enabled them to create a compostable plate that costs...

Managing Your Business
allergies

Guy Procopio got a taste of the future when Michigan State University hosted a Boy Scout event in 2015. Out of 10,000 participants at the East Lansing, Mich., campus, Procopio, the director of dining services, received 1,400 requests to meet special dietary needs, including a wide spectrum of allergies, gluten intolerance or insensitivity, and other new or unusual hyper-specialized diets.

This dining trend isn’t letting up, at least in America: Food allergies in children increased approximately 50% from 1997 to 2011. They now affect one in 13 children in the United States,...

Industry News & Opinion

Students of Broward County Public Schools in Florida were treated to a special meal by celebrity chef Aria Kagan during lunch last week.

The chef and former contestant on “The Next Food Network Star” prepared her farm-fresh pesto panini in front of students at McNicol Middle School in Hollywood, Fla.

Her visit was part of the district’s Chefs Move to Broward initiative, through which a chef from nonprofit Wellness in the Schools visits district cafeterias each month to prepare a healthy meal. The chef then teaches cafeteria staff how to make the dish so it can be...

Managing Your Business
woman alone in kitchen

In a post-Harvey Weinstein world, there’s an awful anticipation over which star’s worst-kept secret will be outed next. The outpouring of claims of sexual harassment and abuse helped popularize the #MeToo social media campaign, encouraging women to share their stories and spurring allegations against upwards of 60 high-profile men. In October, the movement’s momentum hit the foodservice industry. Since, behemoths such as Mario Batali, John Besh and Todd English were forced to confront accusations of alleged sexual harassment or misconduct.

For many women, the scope of the industry’...

FSD Resources