The way schools are providing meals is constantly changing and adapting. When purchasing new equipment, it can be difficult to figure out what will help you both now and in the future. Choosing products with multiple uses is your best bet. Not only will it solve your current needs, but you’ll be able to repurpose it as school meal distribution evolves. We selected four products to get you through the rest of the school year—and whatever the new school year brings in the fall:
Traditionally, the Ultimate Sheet Pan Rack is used to hold and transport prepped food items. Durable and reliable, the rack features heat-resistant rails that accept sheet pans straight out of a 350°F oven and custom center-stem casters for better stability. In addition to using the Ultimate Sheet Pan Rack in their kitchens, schools have found another use: meal delivery. When Julie Rogers, Kitchen Supervisor at Warren City Schools located in Warren, Ohio, needed to find something to transport lunch to students in their classrooms, she chose the Ultimate Sheet Pan Rack. Everything is prepped in containers and loaded onto sheet pans on the rack.
“We get about 100 servings on a rack. They’re easy to use; we push them down each hallway,” said Rogers. “The teachers put lunch counts out in their mailbox. We are actually getting it done within 15 minutes.”
After Rogers no longer needs to use her Ultimate Sheet Pan Racks to deliver meals classroom to classroom, she’ll repurpose them for hot and cold food holding in the kitchen.
The Cambro Vending Cart and Camcruiser® Vending Carts are ideal for mobile meal pickup and service thanks to their ability to safely serve hot or cold food and beverages. Constructed from robust plastic that is resistant to dents, cracks, breaks and bubbles, Cambro’s vending carts stand up to extensive use. Shawn Rivera, Area Supervisor at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif., had been using her school’s Camcruiser during lunchtime, but thought she could find additional uses for it too.
“We were just thinking of how we could increase the participation at breakfast and we thought well why don’t we try this [Camcruiser] at a remote location, fill it up with food, take it out there and see what we can do with it,” said Rivera.
What started as 80 kids turned into 180 kids stopping by the Camcruiser for breakfast. Before the coronavirus pandemic, Rivera also used the cart to deliver meals to classrooms where 11th graders were taking their SAT tests.
Our GoBoxes are used by every sector to keep food and beverages at ideal, safe temperatures. If you’re transporting hot or cold prepped items, you need a GoBox. With the option of front or top loading, there is a GoBox to meet any insulated transport need. For schools in particular, our GoBoxes have been essential for meal distribution. Employees can easily pack bagged meals inside GoBoxes, put them on a Camdolly and wheel them out to the curb. After the need for meal distribution ends, schools can go back to using their GoBoxes for grab-n-go and breakfast or lunch in the classroom.
Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., purchased 50 Cam GoBoxes, 50 Cam GoBox Extenders and 15 Camdolly Compacts to safely serve quarantined students who were returning to campus. In the future, Amanda Rotundi, Director of Campus Dining at Johnson & Wales University, Providence Campus, said she planned to use her GoBoxes “for everything.”
The Flex Station was an invaluable piece of equipment for schools in 2020. When schools began handing out meals curbside, foodservice employees turned to the Flex Station to easily load and wheel out bags full of food. Before the coronavirus pandemic, schools commonly purchased the Flex Station for Grab-N-Go breakfast or snacks between classes. When school foodservice directors were looking for meal distribution solutions, many chose the Flex Station because of the variety of ways it can be used in the future. As schools transition back to in-person learning, the Flex Station transitions right along with them. Constructed from durable, lightweight Camshelving, the Flex Station can be modified with shelves or dividers fitted with food pans or food boxes. For those looking to increase hot or cold holding time, GoBoxes fit perfectly on shelves for extra support.
If you’re looking into purchasing new equipment for your foodservice department, consider which products will help you now and into the future. Choosing a Cambro product that has the ability to adapt to your schools’ needs is crucial. Contact your Cambro rep today to receive a consultation about the best products for your school.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.