2012 School Census Report

Lunch participation continues to oupace breakfast counts.

FoodService Director’s 2011 School District Census is a snapshot of the K-12 school market, based on information from the 2010-2011 school year, supplied by 50 large, medium and small districts.

Census Highlights

  •  Of the 50 schools in our survey, 48 operate their own foodservice programs, and two contract out the service. The average size of a district in our survey is 85 schools and 47,227 students.

 Buying Locally

  • Food cost for lunch, including commodities, averaged $1.62 among the surveyed schools, equal to last year’s figure. Similarly, the average food cost for breakfast remained at 89 cents. However, schools spent an average of 55 cents on after-school snacks, up from 47 cents last year.

 Money

  • On average, 55% of the students attending the schools in the census qualify for either free or reduced-price meals.

 What schools offer

  • 38% of the districts in the census—10 percentage points lower than those in last year’s census—said they operate a summer feeding program, and the number of meals served in the average district was only 5,511, roughly one-third of last year’s figure.
  •  80% of the districts surveyed say they offer vending, but in only 38% of those schools does the foodservice department have full or partial control over vending.

 Participation

  • Of the districts offering breakfast, only 28% offer breakfast in the classroom to elementary students, 7% to middle school students and 7% to high school students. Among those respondents, on average 15% of the breakfasts served to elementary students, 5% to middle school students and 5% to high school students are eaten in a classroom.

 Breaking down the dayparts

  • 86% of districts surveyed say they offer students a cashless payment option. In those districts, an average of 59% of meals are purchased using this option.
Download: 
PDF icon 2012-School-Census-Report.pdf

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
aquaponics produce

We partnered with a student group interested in aquaponics to build a recirculating fish tank and lettuce growing operation in our Oval Dining Center. The large tanks are stocked with tilapia that live in the water and fertilize lettuce growing in the recirculating water under grow lights. We then harvest the lettuce and use it in our operations. The unit is set up in the dining room where customers can see the science in action, learn about the process and enjoy the fresh lettuce that was just picked.

Ideas and Innovation
fridge system

We installed a remote refrigeration system as part of our cafeteria renovation. The main part of the system is located on the roof and controls all our refrigerated equipment, including the walk-in freezer and coolers, beverage refrigerator, etc. The system allows us to identify problems faster, and the elimination of individual condenser units cuts down on A/C bills as well as noise.

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

"The students are involved from seed to plate," Executive Chef Frank Turchan...

Sponsored Content
college students eating

From Ovention.

Today’s colleges and universities know they should offer more than a large selection of breakfast cereals in the morning and chicken tenders at lunch to appeal to students. When it comes to what’s trending on campuses, here’s a look at what directors can tune into to boost engagement.

1. Expanded dining hours

Late-night options have long been a popular fixture on college campuses, but if it’s too late, students often choose to venture to off-campus retailers to satisfy their cravings. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend...

FSD Resources