It’s not hyberbole to say the 2020-21 school year has truly been unlike any other. Sights that were common in school cafeterias just months ago, such as self-serve salad bars and students huddled around tables, have taken a back seat as COVID-19 took further hold. What’s more, 54% of K-12 operators who responded to a recent FSD survey said they expect a financial loss for their program this year, while 77% said they’re contending with lower meal participation and 70% indicated their costs are on the rise. Scroll below for our second annual report on the state of K-12 foodservice, which gives an inside look at how these operators are persevering through the pandemic.

What we learned

Keeping kids fed

Here’s how school nutrition teams have been getting meals to students this year amid COVID-19 concerns and restrictions:

“[We stress] the importance of feeding students, during a pandemic or during so-called normal times. We are being given an oppurtunity to make a difference. We are the custodians of most adults most precious item in their lives, their children.”

—Donna Frazier, Food Service Director at Cameron R-1 Schools in Cameron, Mo.


This data compiled by FoodService Director comes from information provided by 516 survey respondents in November 2020. The percentages included throughout are taken from the total number of respondents who answered that particular question. Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.


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