Back to School: Meals in the Classroom

Going back to school is still presenting a lot of challenges for foodservice employees. As rules and regulations continually change across the country, one thing remains the same: provide breakfast and lunch safely to students. No matter how your school is planning to serve meals this year, we rounded up the best products for each method. Whether you’re serving in the cafeteria, hallways or in the classroom, we’re providing suggestions to make each method go as smoothly and safely as possible. The first blog in our Back to School series features Meals in the Classroom.

  1. Let the Cam GoBox Do the Heavy Lifting

When you’re transporting meals across campus for breakfast and lunch, you need something that will be easy for staff to carry or push on a cart. Designed to be lightweight, temperature retentive and durable, the Cam GoBox is the ideal product for meals served in the classroom. Cam GoBoxes are available in multiple sizes to accommodate a variety of containers and beverages. Plus, GoBoxes give you the flexibility to hold either hot or cold items, supporting a diverse menu all year long.

Greeley-Evans Weld County School District 6 in Colorado liked the Cam GoBox® Milk Crate Boxes best for their schools. They liked it so much, in fact, that they purchased 1,580 of them! Although it was created with milk crates in mind, the deep square design and comfortable carrying strap make it ideal for food too.

“We’re able to take the meals directly from the kitchen where they’re being prepared, hot or cold, and we can load those in the boxes and deliver them to the classroom. When the teacher has an appropriate time, they’re able to take them in at the appropriate temperature,” said Nutrition Services Sous Chef Kris Simmons.

  1. Ladies and Gentlemen, Start your Ultimate Sheet Pan Rack

The great thing about Cambro products is that they can be used in so many different ways. At Warren City Schools in Ohio, the Ultimate Sheet Pan Rack came out of the kitchen to take centerstage! Traditionally used to hold sheet pans of prepped food, Kitchen Supervisor Julie Rogers had other plans.

“We deliver to all the rooms; nobody comes in the cafeteria. It’s a lot of prepping because everything has to be in individual containers,” said Rogers. “We get about 100 servings on a rack. They’re easy to use; we push them down each hallway.”

Rogers said the whole process takes them about 15 minutes and thanks to an insulated cover and a Camwarmer, all of the food stays hot upon delivery.

  1. Put a Lid on It

If you want to save money and increase your sustainability, you’re going to love our trays with lids.  Disposable trays not only waste money, but they also consistently contribute more waste to landfills. When Julia Scarborough, Director of Food Services at Blaine County School District in Idado, switched to Cambro’s Separator Compartment Trays, she saved her district about $1,400 a month and cut labor by 28 percent.

When Joe Happe, Supervisor of Nutritional Services at St. Cloud Area School District 742 in Minnesota, was looking at a product to use for breakfast and lunch in the classroom, he had a couple of concerns. Would social distancing be a problem? Would students leave trash all over the classrooms? Would the food stay at safe temperatures? Cambro’s Meal Delivery Trays checked every box!

“From the time we start packaging these meals in these Cambros to the time it’s on the kid’s desk ready to go is 10 minutes or less. It’s working really well because with the isolated sections the hot piece stays hot and the cold fruit stays cold,” said Happe. “Any garbage that the kid has goes back in the box, puts the cover on, we pick up the boxes, bring them back to the kitchen and in the dish room we open the boxes and empty all the food.”

Social distancing concerns were eliminated as employees were able to stack the trays easily and quickly on a cart to deliver to each classroom while the students enjoyed recess.

Providing meals in the classroom has proven to be a very successful way to ensure students get the nutrients they need in the morning and at lunch. Before the coronavirus pandemic, many schools had implemented breakfast in the classroom, and it’s a trend that’s expected to continue long after it’s over. Next week, we’ll show you the best ways to provide hot or cold beverages outside of the cafeteria.

Contact your Cambro sales rep today to get started on a personalized foodservice plan for your district.


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