When schools were first closed, many foodservice operators tried to find a quick fix to continue distributing meals to students. What many schools are realizing is that something they hoped would be temporary is becoming the new normal for the foreseeable future. It is imperative that schools find a solution that will help them safely and efficiently distribute meals during the coming months. We’ve seen multiple schools using their Cambro products to accomplish and surpass their distribution goals.
Deborah Shiflett, Purchasing Coordinator at Chesterfield County Public Schools in Chesterfield, Va., found a new purpose for her Camshelving Flex Station that allowed her district to provide successful service immediately after temporary closures were first announced.
“We’re preparing the meals inside and then we fill up the Flex Station with the meals. Everything that student is going to get for that meal is in a bag. They wheel the Flex Stations out to the bus loop and as the parents drive by with the students in the car, however many students are in the car, they’re getting that many meals,” said Shiflett.
The Flex Station makes it easy on employees. There is no heavy lifting or constant trips back to the kitchen. Instead, employees load their meals on the Flex Station and wheel it out to the curb. The natural grab and go flow of the Flex Station fits perfectly with the model of food distribution that most schools are having to adopt.
Now through Sept. 15, 2020, every Flex Station purchase comes with two free cases or Food Pans or Food Boxes. Click here for full details.
In addition to the Flex Station, Shiflett and her team are using Cam GoBoxes to transport food safely to her offsite locations. The work the district does for their students is essential. Shiflett says that for some of their students, without the meals being handed out by the schools, they would likely not receive a meal at home.
“We’ve got a lot of employees that have just been more than thankful to be able to do this for our students and a lot of support from the community as well,” said Shiflett.
At Burton School District in Porterville, Calif., foodservice operators are using their Pro Cart Ultra units to retain the temperatures of their food—but in a different way than they typically would do.
According to Nicole Ortega, Food Manager at BSD, their Pro Car Ultra units were originally purchased to keep food hot during transportation from satellite kitchens to schools. However, they are currently using the units to keep their cold foods at temperature before distribution. Like all of Cambro’s insulated transport units, the Pro Cart Ultra is able to keep food both hot or cold depending on the application.
Ortega uses the six Pro Cart Ultra units that have been allotted to her location to load cold sack lunches and breakfasts and roll them outside to be distributed to students. During one of their busiest days, they served Friday, 724 meals from her location alone. According to Ortega, most of the schools in her district provide free and reduced meals to all students.
“I think [our meal distribution] is a good way to let everybody know that we may not be physically seeing each other, but we’re all here,” said Ortega.
Another inventive solution comes from Snowline Joint Unified School District where they’re using their Camcruiser Vending Cart to hold meals before serving. The Camcruiser Vending Carts are designed to move where you need them most. With the capability to hold both hot or cold foods, Camcruiser Vending Carts are ideal for Grab-N-Go and meal distribution needs.
Many states have closed all of their schools for the remainder of the academic year, causing operators to continue distributing meals under current conditions for at least two to three months. More and more districts in other states are following suit. Ensure your school is prepared for what lies ahead. Contact your Cambro rep for a solution today.