During the summer when students no longer receive breakfast and lunch at school, many families struggle to feed their children nutritious meals each day. In 2018, the Summer Food Service Program provided more than 145 million nutritious meals and snacks to children while school was not in session, according to the USDA. A great deal of planning, collaboration and budgeting goes into making a summer meal program a success. Cynthia Hormel, Director of School Nutrition Service Program at Alexandra City Public Schools, looked at the ecological footprint of their summer feeding program and was unhappy with what she saw.
“We were ordering boxes for our satellite campuses where we delivered our meals to. We were ordering the little boxes to put the meals in and then we were ordering cardboard to put the boxes in to deliver the meals. It got to the point where… [I thought] ‘We’ve got to come up with a different solution. I don’t like this’,” said Hormel.
When Hormel set out to find a solution that would be more sustainable, she stumbled upon the Cam GoBox and realized it went beyond her expectations. Not only would she be able to eliminate the need for cardboard boxes, she would be able to stop using the individual meal boxes as well because they could use the Cam GoBox as a serving unit.
“We were able to open [the Cam GoBox] up, put it on top of the tabletop very quickly; we didn’t have to worry about refrigeration,” said Hormel. “I liked the fact that it was very lightweight, I liked the fact that…for up to four hours it held temperatures, and then I liked that it was very compact.”
In addition to saving money and becoming more sustainable, the schools created a more efficient operation.
“[The Cam GoBoxes] took up less space in our trucks. We were able to transport more in the morning because the way it laid in there just made it a more slick operation. We could transport more at one time…with the stacking feature on top of each other,” said Hormel.
Not only were they able to transport more of the Cam GoBoxes, staff members found they could fit more food in less containers than they could previously.
“We actually determined how many little sandwiches we could put in each one of the boxes and we actually were able to get far more in one [GoBox] than what we were able to do with a unitized meal in the cardboard boxes,” said Hormel.
In addition to the Cam GoBoxes, Hormel’s schools use Camwear Pans in their serving lines, Cambro insulated transport units for transporting food and Cambro Salad Bars for their “greens and more bar” in their 12 elementary schools.
Could your operation use a sustainable materials makeover? Cambro has a variety of solutions that can help your schools save money and waste. Contact your local Cambro rep to get started today.