The Continued Quest to Elevate K-12 Foodservice

The K-12 foodservice segment keeps evolving to meet students’ high expectations, despite numerous challenges. Join Rippe’s Eric Goodrich as he weighs in on the conversation in Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine latest edition where they discuss ‘The Continued Quest to Elevate K-12 School Foodservice’.

While K-12 foodservice has its unique challenges, many mirror those of noninstitutional foodservice. Like restaurants, schools must contend with the impact of inflation, supply chain disruptions, and evolving food preferences.

According to the School Nutrition Association’s “2023 School Nutrition Trends Report,” increasing costs were the top challenges cited by 99.8% of the 1,230 school meal program directors surveyed. The report also found among K-12 school lunch programs that charge for meals, average daily participation dropped by 13.2 % for lunch and 23.1 % for breakfast between October 2021 and October 2022.

The survey also asked respondents if they’re still facing equipment and parts shortages and 39% reported significant challenges, while 48% said there are moderate challenges,” says Diane Pratt-Heavner, SNA’s director of media relations. Labor shortages continue to impact how schools look at equipment solutions. “Schools are reporting continued staffing challenges in kitchens, and this is worse for big school districts,” she adds.


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