This is the first in a three-part series of K-12 districts that are doing mobile serving right. Read on to find some inspiration for ways to get started or revamp your current program. You can read Part 2 here.
In South Carolina’s Dorchester School District Two, time was becoming a problem. More accurately, it was a lack of time that was the problem: There just wasn’t enough time for all students to eat lunch. As the director of nutrition and food services, Debi Filomarino knew she had to come up with solutions that would do the trick across her elementary, middle and secondary schools. Here’s a closer look at what she did.
Lunch in the Classroom
At one elementary school with 1,500 students, Filomarino devised lunch in the classroom for all Kindergarteners. Meals are prepared in the kitchen, then are loaded into a Cambro Ultra Camcart with Camwarmers to retain temperature on their way to the classroom. “They eat family style in their classroom,” Filomarino says. “It’s being used as a teachable moment for nutritional education and table manners.”
Power Hour Lunch
The secondary school in Dorchester does individualized learning time (ILT), aka Power Hour, where all 10,000 students and staff eat lunch during the same hour. Students have the option of spending lunch break with teachers in the classroom to get more individualized instruction. But this is a lot of people to feed all at once.
Filomarino created Grab-N-Go stations using Camkiosks. The stations serve classic favorites – pizza, chicken, and hot and cold sandwiches – from the carts. “We have 17 serving lines in one high school and 12 in two others,” Filomarino says. “We also used a consultant, two chefs and a registered dietician to determine recipes and menu items.”
Placement of the carts was important. “Kiosks are positioned in the hallways, as far away from the cafeteria as we can get them, so the students can access whatever they want, where ever they want,” she says.
Participation at the secondary level increased by 8%, with plenty of room to grow. At the elementary and middle school levels, Dorchester was able to move away from cold meals to serve hot home-style meals, and the kids love it.
Up next, Filomarino plans to invest in LED signage to show nutritional info of the offerings. She is also working on an interactive website that will feature contest and helpful information, such as how many glasses of water to drink per day and farm to school info. She’s also planning on using the kiosk in elementary and middle schools to expand salad bar selection.
“It’s all about engaging the kids,” she says.
Click to connect with a Cambro Representative for additional school foodservice solutions.