A Tale of Three Mobile Serving Operations: Pasadena, Texas

This is the second 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 1 here.

Pasadena_mapMary Harryman, RD Director of Child Nutrition Services for Pasadena ISD in Texas really wanted more of her students to eat a healthy breakfast. But participation was low for breakfast due to many reasons. One was late arrivals from parents dropping off their kids or from the bus arriving with little time for kids to get breakfast.

Another was logistical: At one elementary school the “principal believed in breakfast and walked all students down to [the cafeteria] to get it, however there was not enough seating area and only two lines, causing logistical and timing issues,” Harryman says.

Harryman devised mobile serving programs to meet the needs of students for breakfast. Here’s a look at what she did.

Pasadena---KioskBreakfast at Drop-off

At the secondary level, Pasadena uses Cambro CamKiosks to serve breakfast. The kiosks are positioned at the entrance to the school, so students can grab a bite on their way to class. Offerings include all the components of a reimbursable breakfast, including coffee. The way Harryman sees it, the students were walking into to school with Starbucks coffee anyway, if Pasadena offered it too maybe students would buy from them instead.

Pasadena---BreakfastBreakfast in the Classroom

Rather than have her elementary students walk to the cafeteria for breakfast, Harryman decided to bring breakfast to them in the classroom. To do this, she uses the Cambro Flex Station with food boxes. Foodservice staff loads the carts in the cafeteria, then pushes them down the hallways where kids get their breakfast and return to class to eat. It’s a simple concept that is working well for Pasadena ISD.


The numbers speak for themselves: Harryman’s programs are working. At the secondary level, participation increased 70% at one high school. Elementary and intermediate schools have seen varying results, from modest increases of 11% to a whopping tripling of participation at one elementary school.

These are amazing results, considering the entire service takes only 20 minutes! “Staff begins the process at 7:35 am and all children are fed and carts back in the kitchen by 7:55 am,” she says.

Click to connect with a Cambro Representative for additional school foodservice solutions.

Leave a Reply