Exeter Township School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

The layout of the scatter room at Exeter Township School District’s Junior High School was creating traffic flow problems that resulted in students spending too much time in line. Another concern involved the salad bar which had no rails on which students could rest their trays. This forced students to balance trays while trying to build a salad.

The layout was changed so that students choose one of three serving lines: one for salad, one for hot grab ‘n go meals, and one for cold grab ‘n go meals. Colorful, attractive, informative signs guide the students through the service area. Students, no longer confused by the mayhem of the “scatter room” are now offered a logical, efficient route, which results in less stress and more time for meals. The new salad bar has rails, easier to access items, and more attractively displayed products.

To date there have been modest increases in participation and it is expected that this will continue as more signs are added and the visuals continue to improve.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Jennifer Wilinsky
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: : (610) 779-0700

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • Make major changes over the summer.
  • Request in advance from the facilities department any services you may need.

Evidence of Success

  • Student frustration (at now being able to find items) is lower than before.
  • Breakfast and lunch participation have seen modest increases and salad bar sales are up 5%.

Conemaugh Valley School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Conemaugh Valley School District is decorating their cafeteria for holidays and the change of seasons. The changes create excitement for the items on the school’s menu and keep the dining experience from becoming stale. Additionally, attractive baskets now display fresh fruits and vegetables.

New signs and promotions increase interest in the school’s breakfast program. New, larger signs display the daily menu and seating charts have been relocated to make room for the larger, easier-to -ead menu.

Sample trays are displayed during Kindergarten and Pre-K registration, so parents can see some of the food options.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Jesslyn Anslinger
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: : (814) 535-5523

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • Students really enjoy seeing all the different decorations from month to month and season to season. It really keeps the serving line fresh and new and the students notice the changes and look forward to coming back to see what will happen next.
  • Try to change posters/decorations at least monthly to keep the cafeteria fresh.
  • Consider taking pictures of some displayed meals on lunch trays for younger students.

Evidence of Success

  • Breakfast participation increased from 38% to 48%

Kiski Area School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Kiski Area High School has added new items to all serving lines, including seasoned hot vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables displayed in colorful, attractive baskets, and bundled grab-n’-go meals. Colorful signs now entice students to make healthy meal choices. Finally, white milk is now front and center in all of the cafeteria’s coolers.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Meredith Bailey
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: : (724) 842-0467

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • Realize that your staff is always going to be reluctant to make huge changes. Fill their plates a little at a time.
  • Use your art department to make signs.
  • Scheduling time with students and trying to make mirror image changes in multiple cafeteria can be a challenge.

Evidence of Success

  • Sales of white milk and vegetables both increased by 14%.
  • Students are making favorable comments about the changes, and there has been a slight increase in meal counts.

Moon Area School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Moon Area School District features white milk prominently in both milk coolers and in ala carte beverage coolers. This simultaneously puts white milk foremost in the students’ minds and also causes the students to think twice about making unhealthy beverage choices.

Healthy, prepackaged grab-n-go meals are displayed in a cooler formerly used for ala carte beverages. Fun, new signs change daily to encourage students to come to the cafeteria each day to see what is different. Funny fruit and vegetable jokes, produce meme's and cartoons were used to help sell the daily specials.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Christie Leininger
Contact Person’s Title: Director of Food Services
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: : (412) 264-8440

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • The cafeteria should be an ever-changing environment to keep students interested.
  • Making small changes can have a huge impact. Whether creating new signs or adding new fruit baskets, every little bit helps.

Evidence of Success

  • Non-flavored white milk consumption increased by 7.9% from December 2016 to March 2017.
  • 7.1% more fruit and 14.88% more vegetables were selected by students from December 2016 to March 2017.

Northeastern York School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Northeastern York School District’s Spring Forge Intermediate School implemented Smarter Lunchrooms practices. First, they developed a focus group of students. This revealed the students’ desire for more daily choices in the school menu. The menu expanded to offer more meal choices, ensuring that each day there would be a student favorite on the menu.

Colorful signs, featuring the school’s Bobcat mascot now adorn the cafeteria. This promotes the new menu choices and is displayed above the serving line area. The serving line itself benefits from an updated look with more fruit and vegetable choices which are now displayed in colorful, attractive baskets.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Kimberly Alessandroni
Contact Person’s Title: Director of Child Nutrition Services
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: : (717) 266-3667

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • The Smarter Lunchroom Assessment page is an extremely valuable tool. Having an experienced former Food Service Director look at your cafeteria with a fresh set of eyes is invaluable.

Evidence of Success

  • Meal participation has increased by 5%.
  • Fruit and vegetable sales have definitely increased with the addition of a salad bar meal which has been implemented twice a week, and has an average participation of 100 meals.

Greater Latrobe School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description


The school’s broadcasting class announced the school menu each morning, and students created colorful overhead signs for each lunch station that increased interest in the daily menu. Finally, fresh fruits and vegetables were placed at the point of sale to make fruit selections easier, and the staff was trained on suggesting healthy choices to students in the lunch line.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Jillian Meloy
Contact Person’s Title: Director of Food Services
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: : (724) 539-8141

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective

  • To increase participation in school meals

Advice

  • Sign up for the Smarter Lunchroom assessment. It is a beneficial experience that will improve your program.
  • Involve students with program changes. Small changes do work!
  • Start conversations about the benefits of healthy foods in the cafeteria. Post fun facts, use creative descriptions, and have the cafeteria staff encourage students to make healthy choices.

Evidence of Success

  • Lunch participation rates have increased by 2%
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable sales have increased by 4%

Conrad Weiser Area School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Conrad Weiser Area School District’s Food and Nutrition Department made small changes to the appearance of their serving areas and to the food served in the high school cafeteria. New signs advertise healthy food options and new Grab-n-Go units offer quick, pre-made meals to hurried students. A la carte items are now better organized and displayed. Higher visibility of items has resulted in increased sales. The salad bar is more efficiently located to take up less space and display items better. The staff has been trained to serve food in a more appealing manner, including garnishing items and displaying food in more attractive containers.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Marci Nagle
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: : (610) 693-8553

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase participation in school meals
  • To reduce food waste

Advice

  • A Smarter Lunchrooms assessment allows a sponsor to see the program with a fresh set of eyes.
  • It is beneficial to utilize new ideas and incorporate multiple small changes.
  • Work on continuously updating the cafeteria to ensure student interest.

Evidence of Success

  • Small increases have been realized in both lunch and breakfast participation.
  • Grab-n-Go meals increased from 182 to 489 units in one year.
  • Total ala carte sales increased by $11,410 in one year.

Centennial School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

In order to increase participation in school meals Centennial School District has increased the number of signs to help promote the program and to decorate the spaces in a bright, fun manner.

Some of the signs are of the A-frame, sandwich board style and feature bright neon colors to catch the students’ attention with the daily menu items. The district also purchased small chalkboard signs for each line station to advertise the daily items being served at each station. Communication has increased between students, staff, and parents by announcing the following day’s menu via phone apps and the district’s web site. Students are also making colorful signs for the school food service program.

In addition, monthly taste tests are conducted with the students and staff and popular items are being incorporated onto the school menus. The menu item names are also being given fun, catchy names. Age-appropriate raffle prizes are awarded to encourage participation, especially on new menu item days.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Shannon Stone
Contact Person’s Title: Supervisor of Food and Nutrition
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: : (215) 441-6000

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • The school nutrition program is a type of community business that consistently needs the benefit of advertisement and promotion.

Evidence of Success

  • Participation has increased not only in daily numbers but also throughout the district by 1-2%. Participation, which had averaged 48-49% throughout the district is now at 50-52% depending upon the month.

Riverside Beaver County School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Randy Walker, the Food Service Director of Riverside Beaver County School District, employed several strategies for increasing participation in school meals and selection of fruits and vegetables.

First, in order to generate buy in from students, Randy implemented a student-led menu committee at Beaver High School. When Randy finishes the month’s menu, he schedules a meeting with the 8-10 student members of the committee who review the menus and make suggestions. This frequently leads to changes in existing items or the addition of new items. For example, a gyro was recently added to the menu. Other changes have included the addition of a “toppings bar” for items such as burgers, hot dogs, and nachos.

The student menu committee also suggested new signage advertising different salads that students could make themselves by self-selecting menu items. An intern from a local university constructed the colorful signs.

Randy also conducts taste tests approximately every other month. If a vendor wants to sell an item to the Riverside Beaver School District, Randy requires that the item in question undergo a taste test by the student menu committee before he decides whether to make the purchase.

Another strategy used to both increase the sale of reimbursable meals as well as streamline the check-out process is the bundling of items to create reimbursable meals. For example, a ham and cheese sandwich may be bundled with sliced apples and baby carrots, while a chicken patty sandwich comes with baked fries. This simultaneously speeds up the serving lines while reducing the need to encourage the addition of an item at the point of sale to complete a reimbursable meal.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Randy Walker
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (724) 728-4020

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase participation in school meals
  • To increase vegetable sales

Advice

  • Involve the students in the planning of cycle menus in order to increase participation.
  • Add a fruit or vegetable to Grab ‘N Go meals in order to increase sales of fresh produce.

Evidence of Success

  • Vegetable sales increased by over 12%.
  • Fruit sales increased by over 29%.
  • Reimbursable meal sales increased by over 5%.

Colonial School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

In order to increase school meal participation Colonial School District revamped their serving line. Black containers and pans are now used to serve both hot and cold fruits and vegetables. The color contrast between the black of the serving container and the colorful fruits and vegetables causes the color to pop, creating an enticing look and attracting the attention of the students in the lunch line.

The pans are also placed on devices which angle and elevate them toward the customers in order to be more visible, especially to young students. All pre-portioned produce is displayed on new matching merchandising trays for uniformity, and fresh fruit is displayed in an eye catching wire basket. Attractive signage is displayed professionally with the sign holders.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Lori McCoy
Contact Person’s Title: Director of Food Services
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (610) 834-1670

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • Presentation really determines whether students choose to eat school meals.
  • Even if money is tight, making small changes to the serving line can be an investment. The saying “it takes money to make money” rings true.

Evidence of Success

  • Small increases in school meal participation were noted immediately following the Smarter Lunchrooms changes. The expectation is that these numbers will continue to increase.

Schuylkill Valley School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Display boards, signs, baskets, and display racks all serve to entice students at Schuylkill Valley School District to choose fruits and vegetables during meal service. Students can also choose new fresh fruit items added to the menu. Students may also choose (except from the salad bar) as many vegetables as they wish. The updated salad bar features new, colorful vegetables, and new vegetable choices have been added to the regular lunch menu.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Becky Robinson
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (610) 916-5726

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase vegetable sales
  • To increase selection of healthy options
  • To reduce food waste

Advice

  • Students are more likely to choose and consume already cut fruit.
  • Older students find certain food items much more appealing when they are displayed well.

Evidence of Success

  • Participation increased by 21%
  • Vegetable sales and consumption increased by 20% after a salad bar was added.

New Hope-Solebury School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

The New Hope-Solebury High School cafeteria (which also services their Middle School) implemented several changes after conducting a recent Smarter Lunchrooms assessment. Changes included:

  • Increasing the daily selection of fresh fruit offered
  • Locating fresh fruit and fresh vegetables at the point-of-sale
  • Purchasing new, attractive baskets to display fresh fruit and produce
  • Lowering the price of bottled water
  • Adding attractive displays for the salad bar
  • Posting attractive new signs to advertise complete meals and featured menu items
  • Displaying featured combination meal offers on the menu
  • Adding posters and signs to the cafeteria
  • Conducting taste tests of new menu items
  • Displaying sandwiches unwrapped

 

Contact Information

Contact Person: Kim Keller
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (267) 370-6012

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase participation in the school nutrition program
  • To increase sales of vegetables
  • To increase ala carte sales

Advice

  • Sometimes a fresh set of eyes is needed to view a program and make suggestions. Any program can be improved and any kitchen can benefit from the Smarter Lunchrooms assessment.

Evidence of Success

  • Participation increased by 3% in a short period of time and greater gains are expected.
  • Vegetable/fruit sales have increased by an average of 5%.

Roberto Clemente Charter School Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Roberto Clemente Charter School employed student engagement to promote Smarter Lunchroom techniques. Students created descriptive names for menu items, as well as creative and colorful artwork, which promoted healthy eating habits. The school purchased a color printer, which the students used to produce product ID cards, posters, signs, menus, contests, and various messages that disseminated nutrition education to other students.

The cafeteria displayed “Got Milk” ads and contests throughout the year promoted white (unflavored) milk. New recipes introduced to the menu, and taste tests promoted the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. An example is the Kiwi strawberry smoothie with fresh spinach.

During National School Breakfast Week, activity sheets were printed and students drew their favorite school meals, which the school displayed on the cafeteria’s bulletin board. This brought a lot of excitement to the event, and participation in school breakfast (and students’ consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables) increased.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Roba Bozakis
Contact Person’s Title: School Dietitian
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (484) 274-4200

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase participation in school meals
  • To increase vegetable sales
  • To increase white milk sales

Advice

  • Involve students for a fun way to promote nutrition.
  • Consider involving the school’s art teacher. Roberto Clemente Charter School’s art teacher conducted a “Got Milk” ad campaign, created by students, to promote white milk consumption. She was able to build the project in the lesson plan and had much stronger results than past attempts to encourage students to create artwork at home in their spare time.
  • Taste testing can help to ensure that new food items are successful when they arrive on the school’s menu.

Evidence of Success

  • Breakfast participation increased 15% on days of special events and taste testing.
  • Last year’s nutrition contest had five students participate. This year’s event had 150 students participate.

Hollidaysburg Area School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

The Hollidaysburg Area School District’s Senior High school implemented Smarter Lunchroom techniques in their “Tiger Paw Café.”

They discontinued serving fresh fruit from stainless steel bowls and began using slanted wicker baskets lined with linen napkins. Bagged apples are offered on a flat black tray.

A small chalkboard is used to advertise their fresh made fruit salad, which is simply fruit cocktail with apples, bananas, and dried fruit.

Art students created a “Garden Fresh Veggies/Fruit” sign so that students would be aware that some of the vegetables and fruits are from the school garden. The individual vegetable/fruit signs (e.g. “lettuce”) are conveniently removable (using Velcro) so that the signs can be easily updated as seasons change.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Betsy Snyder
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (814) 695-7537

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase selection of healthy nutrition options

Advice

  • Strongly consider the “No Time to Train” Smarter Lunchrooms movement training (smarterlunchrooms.org). This simple 10-15 minute training, held monthly, helped the cafeteria staff understand the concepts of behavioral economics, which is “the science of how environmental cues influence decision-making.” The lessons and activities are easy, relevant, and encourage staff to use innovative ideas to enhance the cafeteria environment.

Evidence of Success

  • With just a few changes in how fruit is presented to students, the school experienced an increase of 150 selections per day.

General McLane School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

General McLane School District’s food service department made several changes after a recent Smarter Lunchrooms assessment. Changes were initially made in their Middle School, and were followed by changes to the Elementary School. One change was enlisting art teachers to provide student-created artwork now displayed in both cafeterias. New, colorful signs with eye-catching designs replaced old, worn items.

Flavor stations and age-appropriate dispensers now allow students to season their own meals. In addition, a nutrition newsletter is available to both students in the cafeterias as well as to parents via the internet.

Special day celebrations have increased which provide healthy snacks and small prizes for the students during meal times. An example is Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Finally, the school is now displaying fresh fruit at the end of the cafeteria line in attractive, decorative baskets.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Nicole Keller
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Coordinator
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (814) 273-1033

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase participation in school meals

Advice

  • Remember that elementary level students can get excited at small changes. For example, seeing their artwork displayed in frames, and adding color to the cafeteria can have a big effect.

Evidence of Success

  • Fruit sales have increased by 4% since implementing changes.

Avonworth School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

The Avonworth School District implemented several Smarter Lunchroom techniques in their Primary Center (grades K-2) to increase both meal participation and selection of healthy items.

First, they gave targeted vegetables unique and catchy names. Next, they added eye-catching, colorful posters, which featured positive nutrition messages to the dining area. They also added signage to their menu items in the cafeteria. Finally, they offered fresh fruit and vegetables in attractive bowls at the end of the serving line.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Melissa Schad
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (412) 366-6360

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase participation in the school nutrition program
  • To increase vegetable sales
  • To provide a more interactive dining experience

Advice

  • Make the cafeteria colorful, catchy, and fun.
  • You do not need to make elaborate changes. Making small, positive changes can make a huge difference!

Evidence of Success

  • Participation increased by 14% from October 2015-April 2016
  • Sales of fruits and vegetables increased by 6.75% from October 2015-April 2016

Bucks County Technical High School Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Bucks County Technical High School has placed posters, which were created by senior students studying Commercial and Advertising Art, throughout the school’s hallways. These posters bring awareness to the nutritious meals which are offered in the cafeteria.

The Daily Morning Announcement by the school’s principal always begins with the day’s lunch menu.

Prominent menu boards have been placed in the cafeteria, along with attractive baskets and containers that highlight healthy offerings to the students.

During February 2017 an entire page was dedicated in the BCTHS Newsletter to National School Breakfast Week.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Anthony Mazzocchi
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Manager
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (215) 949-1700

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase participation in school meals.
  • To increase the selection of fruits and vegetables

Advice

  • The slogan at BCTHS is “If you believe you will achieve!”

Evidence of Success

  • Participation rates have increased. For example, comparing January 2016 to January 2017 lunch counts increased from 19% to 26%. February 2016 compared to February 2017 lunch counts increased from 18% to 25%.
  • The cafeteria is bright and inviting.
  • Students are consistently reminded that healthy eating helps them fuel up for success in the classroom and beyond.

Southmoreland School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Food Service Director, Lynn Huggins, realized that the cafeteria at Southmoreland School District’s Primary Center was drab, lacking color and style, cluttered, and in no way kid-friendly. She teamed with art teachers and high school students who painted a food-themed, colorful, child-friendly mural for the cafeteria wall. Enthusiasm was high from both the students and teachers.

Child-friendly stickers affixed to the wall include quotes from Dr. Seuss, paw prints, and the school’s mascot, a Scottie dog. Paw print decals are also on the floor to guide the way to the cafeteria’s entrance.

A bulletin board that promotes healthy eating choices and cafeteria meals now covers an old garage door, which is the entrance to a dish room. The theme of the bulletin board is “I tried it at SPC cafeteria” which is emblazoned on a banner. As the year progresses photographs of students who have tried new food items are displayed in this area. The students who are waiting in the cafeteria line pass this each day and are eager to see whose photograph has been added to the display.

Other changes to the cafeteria include a “Welcome” door wraparound art, which features Dr. Seuss that serves as the entrance to the cafeteria and colorful stickers, which are given to students who choose a particular fruit or vegetable.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Lynn Huggins
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (724) 887-2015

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase participation in school meals.
  • To create a warm, inviting, kid-friendly eating area

Advice

  • Involve the students when renovating the cafeteria.
  • Try different ways of motivating students to try new food items. You never know what will work until you try.

Evidence of Success

  • Lunch participation is up by 2.7%
  • Students are visibly excited by having their photos taken during lunch for the “I Tried It” board.

Delaware Valley School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Delaware Valley School District purchased new, attractive baskets and trays to display fresh fruits and vegetables in the school’s cafeteria. By eliminating old, unattractive items and increasing the visual appeal of healthy food options, they hoped to increase the selection of fruits and vegetables and reimbursable meal sales.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Justin Roselli
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (570) 296-1868

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase participation in school meals
  • To increase fruit and vegetable sales
  • To increase students’ selection of healthy food options

Advice

  • Present food in the most attractive way possible. This will entice students to select fruits and vegetables to their breakfast and lunch trays

Evidence of Success

  • At the start of the 2015-2016 SY lunch participation was at 41.73%. By the end of February it increased to 43.73%.
  • Sales of fruits and vegetables increased by 20%.

General McLane School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

General McLane School District implemented several Smarter Lunchroom techniques in their high school and middle school cafeterias. The cafeteria staff teamed up with art teachers to provide student-made art for the cafeterias. Framed student-made posters hang from the cafeteria as part of a new program that will ensure that each year the cafeterias will offer a new and attractive look.

Additionally, the food service department replaced all their old signs with new, eye-catching designs that utilized new fonts. Flavor Stations, which are equipped with different seasonings, were purchased for each school so that students could season their food exactly how they like. A Facebook page for the district’s food service department is now online. The Food Service Coordinator posts pictures, events, news, and menus for students and stakeholders in order to promote and generate interest in the school nutrition program.

Another means of communication is a front entrance Food Service information board that students see each time they enter or leave the buildings. These feature school menus printed in color. The department has also initiated “special days” in the cafeteria where a certain ethnic food is highlighted and there are giveaways related to the day or holiday being celebrated. For example, a recent Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras celebration featured Cajun cuisine and beads were given away to any student who purchased a reimbursable meal.

Finally, decorative fruit baskets are now being used to display fruit at the end of every line to promote eating fresh fruits and to ensure that reimbursable meals are being chosen.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Nicole Keller
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Coordinator
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (814) 273-1033

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase participation in school meals.

Advice

  • Small changes can make a big difference. It doesn’t take a lot of money to improve the looks of a cafeteria.
  • A Facebook page is a great way to reach a large audience and to highlight your program outside the district’s web page.
  • Student art is a great way to get students talking about your program and they love to see their projects hanging from the walls.

Evidence of Success

  • From December 2016 to February 2017 there has been an across the board increase in participation of 10% and a 5.7% increase in the middle school.
  • Students and staff both made positive comments on the changes on a nearly daily basis

Upper Merion School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Upper Merion School District renovated the cafeteria at their middle school according to suggestions given in a recent Smarter Lunchrooms assessment. Large, new, attractive, and colorful signs were displayed both overhead and at floor level which serve to both stimulate the student’s appetite and extoll the virtues of fresh fruits and vegetables.

In addition, large, attractive woven baskets were purchased to display fresh fruit. The changes resulted in an increase in meals served.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Penny Bartlett
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Supervisor
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (610) 205-8804

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • Increase Participation in school meals

Advice

  • Find the time to participate in the Smarter Lunchrooms program.
  • The assessment makes you take some time to think about what your goals are, how to achieve them, and then find the time to ensure that you actually implement the needed changes.

Evidence of Success

  • Participation increased by 7.4% between September 2015 and September 2016

Towanda Area School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Towanda Area School District’s Towanda Elementary School revamped their cafeteria with techniques gleaned from a Smarter Lunchroom assessment. Fruit is now displayed in new baskets with liners, which increased visual appeal. White milk is featured prominently in the front of the cooler. The cafeteria was renovated with newly acquired art work which has been created by the High School art department. This includes pictures of fresh fruits and vegetables and other attractive, healthy items.

The daily menu is displayed on a TV screen in the cafeteria and menu items have been given catchy names. Finally, more fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy options are offered each day.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Kimberly Daum
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (570) 268-2010

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • Increase Participation in school meals
  • Increase vegetable sales
  • Increase selection of healthy options
  • Increase milk sales (especially white milk)
  • Reduce Food waste

Evidence of Success

  • Breakfast participation is at 78-80%.
  • Fruit selections have increased by about 5%.

Oxford Area School District Revamps Nutrition Program

Description

The entire Oxford School District food service staff implemented actions to improve the district’s program. They then involved the students at Elk Ridge Elementary School and discussed with them their food choices, educated them on nutrition and healthy eating choices, and engaged them in projects such as the MyPlate Coloring Sheet (https://www.choosemyplate.gov/content/coloring-sheet-blank).

The Food Service Director conducted training sessions with her staff on customer service. The friendly cafeteria staff now encourages the students to not only make healthy food choices but to enjoy the process of decision making.

The menu was adjusted to include more choices in fresh fruits and vegetables, with particular emphasis on offering a variety of color choices and in displaying them in a creative, attractive manner. For example, colorful baskets are used to display a variety of vegetables with an eye toward dramatic, contrasting colors displayed in rows.

In addition, bagged Grab ‘n Go meals are being offered for the first time. Yogurt, cheese sticks, and Graham snacks have proven to be a favorite with the students. The improvements are part of a process, with the goal of continually improving the program.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Alison Weir
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (484) 365-6027

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • To increase participation in the school nutrition program
  • To improve all areas of the school food experience including customer service, nutrition education, menus, and overall enjoyment of the cafeteria meals

Advice

  • Involve the students.
  • Remember that the way a food looks and is presented plays a large part in someone’s purchasing decision.
  • Know that students want to learn about nutrition and are have fun talking with adults about eating choices and their thought process.

Evidence of Success

  • Participation increased from August-October of 2015 to August-October 2016 by 10.4% from 56.7% to 67.1%.

Upper Moreland Township School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Upper Moreland Township School District renovated their cafeteria in order to increase both participation and sales of vegetables. The salad bar and cafeteria lines for fruits and vegetables were reconfigured for self-service and the items themselves were newly displayed in cold wells that are flush-mounted and more attractive.

The newly designed salad bar featured all new containers which are all uniform in size and shape, which makes for a much neater presentation. Presently, condiment and utensil stations are being purchased which will also add to the new, neater appearance. These will be displayed away from the serving line which should improve the flow of the line.

Other changes being implemented involve playing music at breakfast in the high school’s cafeteria. A survey is being created to determine what the students want, and what can be done to persuade them to partake in school meals.

Instead of purchasing markers for the salad bar’s sneeze guard, labels were purchased that are much nicer looking, more uniform in appearance, and match all serving lines. These labels come with templates that can be used to identify every item offered. Finally, all the plastic bowls that were previously used to display fruit for students’ grab and go meals have been replaced with much more attractive wicker baskets.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Melissa Harding
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (215) 830-1522

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • Increase participation in school meals
  • Increase vegetable sales

Advice

  • Check your kitchens to see what you are not using. The staff was asking for more plastic bowls to display fruit, but a check of the kitchen revealed many beautiful baskets which were not being used.
  • Black plastic containers on the line look so much better than clear containers or non-matching shapes and sizes. It really makes a difference

Evidence of Success

  • Changes are still being implemented but already there has been a slight (.5%) rise in breakfast sales. Expectations are that this will continue as more changes are implemented.

Hershey Primary Elementary School Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Big changes have been made at Derry Township School District’s Hershey Primary Elementary School. To increase participation in school meals signs have been added to the cafeteria explaining how to choose a reimbursable meal, and new, healthy menu items have been added.

Sample days have continued to allow students the opportunity to try new foods which, if popular enough, will be added to the regular menu. This program, in tandem with a re-education of the staff on offer vs. serve, was implemented with the goal of reducing food waste.

A time study is currently being conducted and analyzed to improve traffic flow and line flow. The biggest change that occurred was the redesigning, repainting, and added signage (posters, education materials, etc.) throughout the cafeteria. Students were even given the opportunity to vote on a new name. Each classroom in the Hershey Primary School was able to submit a name, which was then voted upon. They chose Cocoa Café, which was unveiled with new menu offerings such as Sandwich Buddies, Yogurt Parfait Pals, Ancient Grains and Kale Rice Blends, Couscous and Red Quinoa, Roasted Vegetables, and more.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Greg Hummel
Contact Person’s Title: Director of Food Services
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (717) 531-2233

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Objective(s)

  • Increase participation in school meals
  • Increase selection of healthy options
  • Reduce food waste
  • Improve traffic flow through the line/Reduce time spent in the line

Advice

  • Get as many people and groups involved in the project as possible when making improvements.
  • Include students, teachers, the maintenance department, parents, etc. This allows people to have ownership and invest time and care into what is going on in their school district.

Evidence of Success

  • Despite a drop in enrollment the meal counts have remained steady and are even rising slightly.

Quaker Valley School District Increases Sales of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Description

In order to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in school lunch Quaker Valley School District’s Director of Food Services Jennifer Reiser conducted extensive training with her staff. She increased the number of fresh fruit and vegetable offerings, including berries, melons, kiwi, and even star fruit. Jennifer taught her staff how to prepare the items, how to display them to make them most attractive, and even how to use them to garnish other dishes.

In addition, signage was created to encourage students to choose fruits and vegetables. The signs are fun and colorful and feature a cute message such as “Orange wheels will get your day rolling with Kiwi and Berries.”

Contact Information

Contact Person: Jennifer Reiser
Contact Person’s Title: Director of Food Services
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (412) 749-3610

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • It is helpful to have a staff member to champion your cause. If you train someone that is excited and address all objectives (e.g. time constraints) then you can have this staff member go out and train the other schools and show them how to make it work.
  • Although it is more work to cut up fresh fruit for the students, if the staff members are willing to do this and develop a way to prep ahead of time it can be done.
  • Making the fruits and vegetables the stars of the lunch line has really increased the perception of school lunch. More students will take fresh fruit and vegetables if it is available and presented in an attractive and appealing manner.

Evidence of Success

  • Fruit servings increased by 9.66%
  • Vegetable servings increased by 15.18%

Punxsutawney School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Punxsutawney School District, in an effort to increase healthy lunchroom choices, revamped their high school cafeteria. Posters with food items were designed and placed in the food court, making the space more appealing. Attractive wooden bowls of fresh fruit were placed at each station and at the Point of Sale. Menus and signs were posted in the dining area where the students line up, which include vinyl banners in the food court which were printed by the shop class. In addition, there was a “name that pizza” contest. The winning name for the high school was “The Big Kahuna,” for the middle school “The Big Chuck” which reflects the name of the sports team, and the elementary’s winning name was “The Goliath .”
 

Contact Information

Contact Person: Denise Geist
Contact Person’s Title: Cafeteria Manager
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (814) 938-5151

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Evidence of Success

  • Fresh fruit sales increased by 10%
  • Students are getting through the line quicker because of the signage before the entry of the food court.

 

 

Plum Borough School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Plum Borough School District, in an effort to increase participation in school meals, as well as sales of white milk, vegetables, and healthy options, implemented Smarter Lunchrooms techniques at their cafeterias.

Changes included offering more vegetables in both cafeteria lines, displaying baskets of fresh whole fruit next to the cashiers, and prominently displaying white milk in the front of the cooler.

In addition, students from the school submitted art work to decorate the cafeteria in order to give it a more inviting look.
 

Contact Information

Contact Person: Jessica Griggle
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (412) 798-6367

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • An assessor helps you to see your cafeteria with a fresh set of eyes. You will notice things that you otherwise never would have.
  • Encourage your staff to be receptive to change.

Evidence of Success

  • Fruit sales increased by 8.12%
  • Vegetable sales increased by 50.25%
  • White milk sales increased by 2.51%
  • 8.91% more meals have been served

Northern Bedford County School District

Description

In an effort to create excitement, inspire students to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and reduce food waste, Northern Bedford County School District improved its cafeterias by making several changes. First, menu boards were created and displayed on each serving line. These boards featured the items being served each day, were colorful and attractive, and had pictures so that the youngest students knew which items they could choose. Northern Bedford also increased their fresh fruit offerings and displayed fresh fruit and vegetables in colorful baskets and trays. In addition, the district reached out to parents with a colorful flier which promoted healthy choices being offered to students.
 

Contact Information

Contact Person: Jennie Miller
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (814) 766-4740

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • There are many no-cost/low-cost ways to help promote your program and get the students excited about school meals.
  • There are many small things you can do that can make a big difference in getting the students interested in choosing school meals.

Evidence of Success

  • Breakfast participation has increased by 5% and remained steady.
  • Parents have received literature which described healthy choices offered to their children.
  • Increasing the choices of fresh fruits and vegetables has resulted in less food waste.

Leechburg Area School District Revamps Lunchroom

Description

In order to increase participation in school meals, increase vegetable sales, and increase sales of white milk, the Leechburg Area School District (David Leach Elementary School and the Leechburg Junior/Senior High School) revamped their cafeterias.

Baskets were purchased and signs and posters were created in conjunction with the art department with the goal of making the cafeteria a more inviting space. Menu items were given creative names and baskets of fresh fruit were displayed at two areas of the lunch line.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Jamie Ogle
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (724) 845-7701

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • It’s imperative to have an expert take a look at your program to determine which changes should be made.
  • Develop surveys for the students and work with members of the student council.
  • Remember that students notice the smallest changes.

Evidence of Success

  • Sales of fresh fruit increased by 73%
  • Sales of fresh vegetables increased by 55%

Glade Run Lutheran Services Revamps Cafeteria

Description

In an effort to encourage students to make healthy choices Glade Run Lutheran Services revamped their cafeteria. The menus were clearly posted on the doors entering the serving lines as well as at the entrance to the cafeteria. Students are offered samples of new menu items while they are waiting in the serving lines. Each staff member in the department attended training events which promoted positive interactions between students and staff. Cashiers were trained to suggest a salad bar sale to students and faculty members in an effort to increase the number of customers who choose to eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Another method promote the consumption of vegetables was incorporating more vegetable choices on the salad bar as well as displaying the vegetables in attractive black pans. Finally, informative, colorful posters have been displayed in the dining hall.
 

Contact Information

Contact Person: Michele Baxter
Contact Person’s Title: Director of Nutritional Services
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (724) 452-4453

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • Every little change makes a difference. Students are noticeably more interested and excited when they come for meal service.

Evidence of Success

  • Produce purchases have increased by 39%

Fairview School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

In order to increase participation in school meals, with an emphasize on vegetables and other healthy food options, Fairview School District revamped their cafeteria. Changes included revamping unused space by converting it to a condiment/spice station. Menus were posted in advance on the morning announcement and students with iPads (grades 4-12) had apps installed on them which announced the menu for the entire month.

Previously, the district made tasty and nutritious wrap sandwiches which were not selling well. By cutting them in half and displaying them in clear packaging with fruits and vegetables a popular grab and go option was created which students have commented upon favorably.
 

Contact Information

Contact Person: Lori Squires
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (814) 474-3292

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • It really helps to see your lunchroom through somebody else’s eyes. We were putting condiments on the same cart which was used for years and did not notice how bad and out of date it was. The cart was removed and the salt-free spice area has been a big hit.

Evidence of Success

  • Participation increased approximately 8% from the beginning of the school year. Healthier options are being chosen and there has been an increase in fruits and vegetables and grab and go items.

Elk County Catholic High School Revamps Lunchroom

Description

In order to increase student satisfaction Elk County Catholic High School created a pleasant atmosphere in their lunch room and offered a greater number of menu choices.

The walls of the lunch room received a fresh coat of paint and murals and student art work now decorate the space. New counter tops were purchased and installed. A new cooler now displays freshly made salads and sandwiches. The menu also received a makeover with items getting new, intriguing names and pictures added to increase appeal

More menu items, coupled with attractive signs and a clean, attractive area has resulted in an increased student satisfaction level.
 

Contact Information

Contact Person: Kim Schlimm
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (814) 834-7800

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • Student artwork creates a sense of ownership and an inviting atmosphere in the cafeteria.
  • Fun and interesting posters are enjoyable to view and provide useful nutritional facts.
  • Salads and wraps appear more enticing when displayed in a dedicated, see-through refrigerator.

Evidence of Success

  • A survey was sent home to the students regarding the changes implemented and the choices of food offered. Students were also able to provide feedback on additional items which they would like to see added to the menu. Results were positive, and data from the survey resulted in several new menu items. Examples include Taco Pizza, Buffalo potato rounds, steak subs, and a variety of fresh fruit.
  • Student attitude seems to be much better in the new lunchroom.

Connellsville Area School District Revamps Lunchroom

Description

In order to increase participation in school meals Connellsville School District purchased new dry erase signs for the serving line. The signs are bright and colorful, change daily, and students have remarked upon how eye catching they are. In addition, new serving containers were purchased for fruits and vegetables and reimbursable meals were “bundled” for easier purchase. Baskets of fresh fruit were displayed along the serving line and student/parent committees conducted surveys to obtain input on menu items. Taste tests were conducted and menu items received new, more appealing names. Finally, another row of white milk was displayed prominently.
 

Contact Information

Contact Person: Dawn Basinger
Contact Person’s Title: Director of Food Service
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (724) 628-3300

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • The bundled reimbursable meals were a huge hit. It takes a little while to prepare them but the students love to grab them and get going.

Evidence of Success

  • The bundled reimbursable meals resulted in a 97.8% increase in grab and go lunches for the quarter.

Conemaugh Valley School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

Conemaugh Valley School District, in an effort to increase participation in school meals and reduce plate waste, implemented Smarter Lunchrooms techniques at both their elementary school and Junior/Senior high school. All of the district’s schools are on one campus.

Changes included decorating the cafeteria for changes in seasons and holidays in order to create excitement in the lunch line.

Other changes included enlarging the sign which displays the daily menu and relocating seating in order to make the daily menu easier to read.

In addition, sample trays were displayed during Kindergarten and pre-K registration, so parents could see some of the food options.

Murals were painted and new trays were purchased for the Junior/Senior high school.
 

Contact Information

Contact Person: Jesslyn Anslinger
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Director
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (814) 535-5523

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • Change posters and cafeteria decorations frequently (at least monthly). Students like to see change and they will be excited to see what is new in the kitchen/cafeteria.

Evidence of Success

  • Since the Smarter Lunchrooms changes were implemented breakfast and lunch participation has increased.
  • Breakfast participation has increased from 1-6% depending upon the menu.
  • Lunch participation has increased from 1-7% depending upon the daily menu.

Roberto Clemente Charter School

Description

In an effort to increase participation and encourage students to choose fresh fruits and vegetables Roberto Clemente Charter School embarked on an effort to improve its cafeteria. First, clutter was removed from the cafeteria, especially in front of the buffet table. Boxes and buckets had accumulated over time and they were removed, which freed up space around the buffet table. Concurrently, signs were made which promoted the menu and specific menu items. A billboard was created which featured individual cards promoting the daily feature. A colorful, clearly written menu was featured at the start of the line. Components of a meal were also clearly labeled to help students choose a reimbursable meal. Menu items which were not selling well (e.g. turkey and tuna burgers) were removed and new items were introduced. The number of fresh fruit and vegetables offered also was increased. This was done by involving a student advisory group and introducing taste tests for potential new items, such as hummus and pita bread. Cards were also placed in front of each item on the buffet table which described the item being featured (e.g. Black Bean Mexican Salad). In addition, the covers were removed from the steam pans to better showcase the items. Previously, students were unsure of all the choices they were being offered because the food was obscured by a lid.
 

Contact Information

Contact Person: Ruth Velez
Contact Person’s Title: Food Service Manager
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (610) 439-5181

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • Keep your cafeteria clean and remove all clutter around the serving area.
  • Feature fresh fruits and vegetables and observe which items your students choose.
  • Conduct a survey to determine what your students enjoy most.

Evidence of Success

  • Breakfast participation has increased from 100 students per day to 165-170.
  • Lunch participation has increased from 50% to 90%.

Centennial School District Implements Smarter Lunchroom Techniques

Description

In order to increase participation in school meals Centennial School District’s Davis Elementary School revamped their cafeteria with more signage, advanced announcement (prior day) of the menu, promotions, a phone app, menu boards, new creative names for meals, taste tests, a Student Food Committee, and increased marketing.

While they are waiting on A frame signs that utilize dry erase markers they have already implemented traditional posters and hand painted signs that feature the full menu in large print as well as individual menu items. Raffles for small non-food prizes were conducted for students who participated in school meals. The Food Committee was used to test and rate potential menu items, make menu suggestions, and create signs. The group also provided the idea to announce the following day’s lunch at the end of the period.

Menu items were given creative names such as Dinosaur Broccoli Bites, Tasty Tree Tops, X-Ray Vision Carrots, Mellow Yellow Corn, Power Peas, etc. At the high school level descriptive words such as crunchy, crisp, tender, golden, fresh, homemade, etc. were used. As these techniques get rolled out into the other schools each elementary school will get its own menu day (e.g. Davis Personal Pizza Day). Some entrée names are Nemo Ham and Cheese, Texas Toast Grilled Cheese, Totchos Libre, etc. The students enjoy Mix Up Days with different chicken options (nuggets, tenders, popcorn, drummettes, etc.) or a cheese stick option.
 

Contact Information

Contact Person: Shannon Stone
Contact Person’s Title: Supervisor of Food and Nutrition
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact Person’s Phone Number: (215) 441-6000

Category

  • Smarter Lunchrooms

Advice

  • The importance of marketing cannot be overstated.

Evidence of Success

  • Participation had stagnated at 41% and after the changes consistently averaged 45-46%.