Technology & Equipment

School district to test if biometric finger scanning reduces cafeteria lines

Poudre School District is piloting scanners at three schools starting this month.
Students eating in cafeteria
The district hopes that the scanners will help them feed students faster. / Photo: Shutterstock

Poudre School District (PSD) in Fort Collins, Colo., is seeing whether biometric finger scanning can reduce wait times in its cafeterias.

The district will pilot biometric scanners in the checkout lines at three schools later this month through May 25.

PSD hopes that the scanners will help the team feed kids faster once it begins offering universal free meals next school year per a proposition passed by Colorado voters last November.

“With the passage of Proposition FF, we don’t yet know what to expect ahead of our 2023-24 school year launch, but we want to be ready to serve free meals to hundreds, if not thousands, of new student diners,” said PSD Director of Child Nutrition Craig Schneider in a statement. “We know that students and their families have many options when it comes to what they eat. The Child Nutrition Department is committed to offering not only the most nutritious options—many made from scratch with local ingredients—but also the fastest options so students can get the most out of their mealtimes.” 

It takes about two seconds to complete a finger scan, according to the district

Parents will have the option to opt out of the program. Students who have been opted out will continue to purchase meals by entering their student ID at check out. 

PSD plans to implement the finger scans at all schools in the district starting next year if the pilot is successful. 



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