Friday, 25 December 2020

How Parents Enjoy Our School Lunch Payment Program

Wordware Inc, is that the market leader in online Lunch payment system, most of the faculties saves time and money using our unique and techno advance Lunch payment application software. Lunch system makes your school to watch money administration easier and can reduce time spent on managing the varsity meal service. Wordware Inc, Lunch payment system may be a simple and secure way for schools to attach , transact and manage all their school payments solutions.
All of your account information including students, account balances, mange menu price, daily transactions, monthly payments, advance collection, item requirements 
and every one other reports are available in our Lunch payment system software.

Features of the Wordware solution:

·         Data Bridge - Wordware Inc, Lunch payment system pull your student and family information from your SIS into Wordware so both systems contain the same information.

·         Wordware LCS1000 - synchronize your data to our preloaded localized network appliance

·         Free and Reduced Module - With our free and reduced timeline, automated application and letter generation, and comprehensive reporting, we can eliminate days of work for your administrative team.

·         District and Family Access – Separate access to both family and district.

·         Online Payment Processing - We partner with industry leaders to integrate payment solutions based on your needs. From lunch deposits, to broader school requirements, Wordware can recommend the right online payment solution to meet your needs.

·         Reporting - cash sales reporting, free and reduced, line reports, etc, we also support customized reports.

Wordware Inc, Lunch payment system  is a school payment software for lunch accounts & fee payment where parents can make online payments to their child's school breakfast and lunch meal accounts they can view school meal menus and can check what their children have purchased. We accept payments for school meals and other school fees and adjust with the administration process.

Parents can set up automatic email reminders to be notified when a payment is needed, or when student purchase something.

If you have not opted for online lunch payment system visit and explore all the feature and subscribe to make easy administration in your school. you already have a Wordware Inc, Lunch payment system ? Don't have an account? Register Now!

To learn more about Wordware Inc, Lunch payment system , it’s features, pricing details, or to schedule a demo, fill out the form below and a Wordware Inc, Lunch payment system  representative will be in contact with you shortly.

Or call us now at (800) 934-2621

Website - https://www.wordwareinc.com/

Email ID - sales@wordwareinc.com

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Wordware PowerSchool Tuition Module description - PowerSchool Plugin that works for your School

One location, one password, one goal. Make your experience the best it can be.We sync your student information from PowerSchool to Wordware. Parents that have experienced our Powerschool plugin, love having everything at their fingertips.

One location, one password, one goal. Make your experience the best it can be.We sync your student information from PowerSchool to Wordware. Parents that have experienced our Powerschool plugin, love having everything at their fingertips. Wordware, Inc. Wordware Inc based in Bloomington, MN is a company that exclusively works on School software like school management, Cafeteria Management, School lunch software, school payment software, fee payment, food service, tuition, activity registration, school-age daycare and more. We offer the best software solution for school lunch programs for Schools.


Wordware team worked tirelessly to provide our customers with the best possible experience. For more than thirty years, Wordware has been a leader in lunch accounting software programs. Working closely with lunch accounting administrators & state representatives has culminated into one major leap forward in lunch accounting technology With our development of our PowerSchool Plugins, we give schools and parents single sign-on capabilities. To give your school district and parent’s a tight integration and a user-friendly experience. All of our apps are embedded inside of the PowerSchool parent portal to give your parents a seamless, intuitive, and user-friendly experience. Your PowerSchool parent can sign on to their parent portal with their username and password. That’s all a parent needs in order to sign in and check their lunch balance, pay school fees, or make a real-time online payment with their credit or debit card. One location, one login. No more multiple locations or usernames and passwords to remember.

Why wordware’s Lunch cashier system is best for the district and all school –
  • Communicate meal balance information to families using our email, text message and/or voice notifications.
  • Online free & reduced meal applications. Parents sign up for government benefits through us and our software handles the rest. The detailed reporting goes straight to you.
  • Ou goal is to make your job of easier. We offer both on-site and cloud-based solutions that are designed to fit your school’s needs.
  • Fast, a reliable point-of-sale system that’s easy to learn and simple to use.
  • Friendly helpful support to assist you with any emergency, question, or suggestion you may have.
  • Our software helps simplify the process while reducing the potential for errors. Applications are processed quickly & accurately.
  • Reduces time to process free & reduced meal applications.
  • Fewer phone calls, less negative balances & accurate reimbursement dollars for your school.
  • Easy to use the portal, parents can make deposits, check balances, monitor transactions, modify line permissions & change balance notification settings.
  • Comprehensive reports can save many hours of data collection and compilation. This allows you to minimize the time spent on managing family & student account information.
  • Support French, Spanish & English languages in the family site and in email balance notifications. Family contacts have the option to choose their language preference

Wordware offers point-of-sale software and hardware that assists your school with increasing your meal sales while simplifying the entire process. Combine that with top-grade support and you have the best lunch cashier system available today. Contact us today for a free demo! https://www.wordwareinc.com/

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Moving Forward…Always Advancing - wordwareinc.com


Tuition Management, Food Service, School Fees all have a common denominator… providing tools to parents to be able to access information. Those tools need to provide parents a convenient way to pay for their service. With our Power School plugin, parents can truly experience a one stop shop environment. One login to get to multiple applications.  Our easy to use suite of products, makes going from application to application as easy as click of a button. If parents want to pay for lunch, tuition or any school fee they can do all of that in our new checkout application.

Convenient for parents and for schools. The ability to run administrative reports, and for parents to have an easy to use application are essential to a school district. Schools are going away from having to have multiple vendors, to finding one solution that will manage all their needs.

Our product suite includes Wordware Lunch Point of sale and Cafeteria accounting management, Edutrak Tuition Management, along with a multitude of other add on platforms. Each of these can be a stand-alone product or you can have all products with one easy access point for parents.

School district are stretched thin and work on a tight budget. Having a product that allows the necessary people to have direct access to reporting all in one location can be a time saver. Time is valuable. Every dollar saved can help with your overall budget and cashflow.

What does the future hold?

Schools around the country struggling to meet their budgets, government funding is being cut, schools are consolidating.  Some states are requiring students be allowed to eat no matter their negative balance. There is flexibility in our solutions. fundraise for lunch accounts, our software options allow you to run a capitol campaign. Raise money for programs or help a hungry student. Flexible, affordable easy to learn software to make your job easier.

Do you have a foreign exchange program? We can assist with our Tuition Management System. It doesn’t only cover tuition, but any other program you need to bill for on a schedule. Summer School, Foreign exchange, Band Camp and even Senior Trips. You can set up a contract and have families pay those contracts over a scheduled period of time.

Our lunch cafeteria solution will also make your life easier, free and reduced processing has never been so accurate or so simple to use. Our included Free and Reduced Online Application allows you to process applications in a timely manner by not having to enter parent information. Parents can go online and apply for benefits, making it easier for the free and reduced processor. Everything in our free and reduced module has your compliance in mind. Whenever a process happens, our program will log it. Need reporting? We have reports to cover all aspects of free and reduced; Accu-claim (edit checks), free and reduced student list’s, we can also create reports in our student export tool. This tool will allow you not only to generate a csv report with one of our many available labels, which allows that report to be totally custom based off your need.

Maybe you need to importyour statues back into your student information system?Our system can set up a file to run on a schedule to do just that.



If you are a PowerSchool customer, our plugin offers you the ability to assign fees to students and then give parents the ability to pay those fees in our checkout module. Again, allowing parents their one stop shop environment.

The Parent Portal is designed with the end user in mind. Parents once registered have access to all applications such as our foodservice portal which gives parents the ability to customize settings, set spending limits (if enabled), restrict a la Carte and set-up auto-refill, and pay for lunch.  Parents can also view their transaction history. All of this can be done in a single application.

Our new Checkout application provides you the ability to pay for items across applications. Parents can login in, go the checkout module and pay for tuition, lunch and any other preset fee. Convenience is our number one priority.

We have created a best in class suite of products that attracts our customers and future customers, with each module having a high-level offering. 

For example, our Athletics module allows schools to load custom forms, apply specific grade level sports to students, so parents can only register for those sports that are assigned. It will also assist coaches track real time eligibility, concussion protocol and much more.

The eCommerce Solution, ePayTrak allows schools the retail space to give parents a place to purchase items such as parking passes, Chromebook insurance, field trips, sell spirit wear. All of these items can be tracked to a separate account code for reporting purposes.

Community Education and Child Care round out the suite with their own tailored services.

Finally, our goal in creating these products was to highlight our all in one easy to access module, which can be customized to fit your needs. If your school only has lunch and ecommerce, only lunch and ecommerce will show in their app bar. If you school decides later to enable Athletics, that module can be added at any time. The same with Tuition, Child Care, Community Education and Ecommerce.

Our team of support personnel will help train and guide you throughout the set-up process and beyond. We stand out in our hands-on support and work hard at making our customers comfortable with our fast response times and our knowledgeable staff. It is as easy as creating a ticket or calling our toll-free number.  Need assistance with your Wordware Cafeteria Solution? Call us and we can use Team Viewer to screen share with you. Need assistance with the ePayTak, we have a designated specialist.

In conclusion, single sign on is the future. SIS integrations such as our PowerSchool plugin takes the burden off parents to remember multiple passwords, for many different sites. Schools as well will experience less phone calls of parents who forgot passwords for any given site. Parents logging in directly to their SIS such as PowerSchool only need to remember the PowerSchool login credentials.

Happy Parents=Happy Customers

Monday, 4 July 2016

Are You Ready? Do You Know How USDA’s Nutrition Assistance Programs can Play a Vital Role in Helping Those Most in Need Following a Disaster?

Posted by Cora Russell, Food and Nutrition Service, on May 17, 2016 at 9:00 AM
Two women talking
FNS’ initial response includes providing USDA Foods to disaster relief organizations. This include a variety of canned, fresh, frozen and dry products including fruits, vegetables, meats, and whole grains.
Twice a year, as part of America’s PrepareAthon!, USDA works closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as well as with other Federal, state and local partners to promote emergency preparedness.  When disasters strike, it’s not only important for you and your family to be prepared, it’s also critical that your community be prepared.  USDA supports local communities by providing access to healthy meals in emergency situations.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) ensures people have access to nutritious food when they find themselves suddenly in need of assistance following a storm, earthquake, flood or other disaster emergency.  Oftentimes after a disaster, retail food stores are closed making it impossible for families to get the food they need.  Even after stores reopen, disaster survivors often still are recovering financially which makes buying food difficult.  FNS programs are there to help in those circumstances.
FNS’ initial response includes providing USDA Foods to disaster relief organizations such as, Catholic Charities and The Salvation Army. USDA Foods include a variety of canned, fresh, frozen and dry products which include fruits, vegetables, meats, and whole grains. FNS works with states to determine the amount and type of food needed and then makes arrangements to get the food to the disaster relief organizations. Once the food is delivered, the states make meals available at shelters and other large-scale feeding sites, or in some cases, deliver food packages to households.
Even after retail food stores are re-opened and operating, if disaster survivors still need nutrition assistance, FNS can authorize states to provide benefits through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) to quickly offer short-term food assistance to families. D-SNAP provides a full month’s benefit to households affected by a disaster who may not normally qualify for or participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It also can provide supplemental SNAP benefits to households already participating in the program.
The FNS response efforts can go beyond these two programs as well. FNS’ other nutrition assistance programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Child Nutrition programs, such as the National School Lunch Program, have flexibilities to support continuation of benefits to participants in disaster situations.
FNS currently is providing food assistance through D-SNAP for survivors of the recent floods in Louisiana in 30 parishes.  In 2015, FNS also provided assistance to people who were affected by wildfires in California, winter storms in the northeast, typhoons in the Federated States of Micronesia and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as the floods in South Carolina. In Fiscal Year 2015, FNS responded to 12 different major disasters and provided approximately $9.8 million in food assistance.
Thanks to the readiness and relief efforts marshalled by federal and state agencies, Indian Tribal organizations, non-governmental and faith-based organizations, corporations, and local partners, USDA is able to lift up communities and help them emerge stronger following disasters. USDA is proud to play a crucial role in those efforts.
Remember, if you are in need of food for your family in the midst of a disaster; contact the disaster relief organization in your area to determine which sites are providing children or families with free meals.  For more information about disaster nutrition assistance in your community, contact your local Red Cross.

Common Misconceptions About the National School Lunch Program

February 15, 2016
School Lunch Program
It’s recently come to our attention that not everyone understands how the National School Meal program works and why the program exists—the latest misinformation coming from the Presidential campaign trail.
This program, which provides nutritionally balanced, low‐cost or free lunches to more than 31 million children each school day, is essential to ensuring that public school students in the U.S. get the nutritious food they need to support their learning.
So, we’d thought we’d clear up some of the common misconceptions about school food.
Fact: The National School Lunch Program is run through the United States Department of Agriculture, not the Department of Education
The National School Lunch Program is run through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As such, it joins other programs—such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)—that ensure our country’s citizens get the nutritious food they need. It also joins the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and the Special Milk Program. All of these programs help fight hunger and obesity by reimbursing organizations such as schools, child care centers, and after-school programs for providing healthy meals to children. And all of these programs are administered by state agencies—not the federal government or the Department of Education.
Fact: Local schools determine menus
School districts and independent schools that take part in the lunch program get cash subsidies and USDA foods from the USDA for each meal they serve. In return, they must serve lunches that meet federal requirements, and they must offer free or reduced price lunches to eligible children. While local districts do have to follow the nutritional guidelines set out by the USDA to receive those subsidies, local districts have control over their own menus. No one is telling schools what food to serve on what days. There is nothing that prevents schools from offering French fries, although now they are usually baked. At Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the district sets the menu for elementary schools and high schools on a district-wide basis.
Fact: The program is based in the need for a strong national defense
The National School Lunch Program was established under the National School Lunch Act, which was signed by President Harry Truman in 1946. The program was designed to “safeguard the health and well-being of the Nation’s children.” The program was born out of the concern that much of America’s youth was too malnourished to serve in the military. Today, one quarter of America’s youth are too overweight to serve in the military, which is why the program has retooled its nutrition requirements to ensure students are getting nutritious foods and not just pizza and fries.
As Congress gears up to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, which sets the nutrition standards and funding for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, it is important to understand the key role that these programs play in supporting the health and success of students across the country.

School Food Support Initiative Has Taken Root! Announcing the First Round of Grant Recipients

When it comes to serving our children good, nourishing food at school, school districts in America face some serious challenges. Tight budgets, lack of kitchen equipment and proper culinary training are just a few obstacles that schools must contend with when serving up healthy, delicious food. That’s why this past October, Life Time Foundation, in partnership with Chef Ann Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation, launched the School Food Support Initiative – to help motivated school districts committed to improving their school food establish healthier meal programs.
We had a group of really powerful applicants apply for the available spots, and were able to support five with technical assistance services valued at $120,000. We are excited to announce those five recipient districts today!

Bellingham Public Schools

  • Bellingham, WA
  • School District Enrollment: 11,004
  • Number of Schools: 24
  • Average Daily Participation: 37%
  • Free and Reduced Percentage: 36%

What are the primary challenges faced by the Food Service program?

USDA reimbursement rates: “The current rates are not keeping up with the increasing cost of providing USDA compliant meals to our students. Increased food costs, labor and benefit costs have created very tight budgets – we are not meeting our goal of running a break-even Food Service program.”
Kitchen Capacity: “We have the classic 'heat, hold & serve' model of food preparation in our district. The four cooking kitchens are limited in space and equipment, making it difficult to prepare scratch-cooked items for the menu. Satellite schools only have warmers and steam tables for service. The kitchen staff has limited skill in preparing fresh, scratch cooked meals. The menu relies heavily on highly processed foods.”

What do you hope to gain from this grant experience?

“I hope to gain firsthand knowledge of how a scratch cooking K-12 school district works on a day-to-day basis.  Also, I’m looking forward to collaborating with other school districts that are interested in making a similar shift to a scratch-cooking model. It’s a big change for our existing program, and it will be beneficial to hear how other districts are managing the change in their own school districts.” 

How will your district benefit from this experience?

“Our community has committed bond dollars to build a new central production kitchen for the school district to be opened in 2019. How our district evolves from our current production model of highly processed “heat, hold and serve” food to a fresh scratch cook model will require enormous changes. The SFSI experience will be invaluable in helping navigate our way through the process of opening the new scratch cooking central kitchen! Ultimately, through better quality school meals and teaching children how to be lifelong healthy eaters, the students of Bellingham Public Schools and the greater community will benefit the most from the experienced gained through the School Food Support Initiative.”

Buford City Schools

  • Buford, GA
  • School District Enrollment: 4,300
  • Number of Schools: 4
  • Average Daily Participation: 57%
  • Free and Reduced Percentage: 44%

What are the primary challenges faced by the Food Service program?

Staff Training: “We lack the personnel to train managers and employees on how to properly prepare new menu items. We try new recipes frequently but without providing the managers and staff with proper training, sometimes the items are not cooked correctly and the students do not accept them.”
Outdated Kitchen Equipment: “We lack proper cooking and holding equipment. 2 of our schools are over 20 years old; the ovens do not cook evenly – the temperature varies so much that products are frequently burnt and/or under cooked.”

What do you hope to gain from this grant experience?

“We hope to gain additional knowledge to assist us in creating new ideas and enforcing the current procedures to serve our students healthier, appealing foods that have been produced in our kitchens.  We also hope to gain lasting relationships with other school nutrition professionals across the country that have the same expectations and desires Buford City Schools does when it comes to preparing and serving healthier food to our students.”

How will your District benefit from this experience?

“I think our district is going to benefit from this experience in numerous ways.  First, having an outside eye see the things we are doing and point out areas where we may be able to improve will be very helpful.  Second, learning new ways of serving our students and different techniques that could be beneficial to our students and food service staff will benefit us greatly.  Third, creating relationships with the SFSI team and other districts involved to help better our existing program and also have a network of individuals to assist with fresh ideas to help us serve our students in the most beneficial way possible.  In addition to these benefits, I hope that Buford City Schools Nutrition Department can assist in further cultivating an environment throughout the district and community that teaches children and parents the importance of good nutrition.”

Passaic School District

  • Passaic, NJ
  • School District Enrollment: 14,400
  • Number of Schools: 22
  • Average Daily Participation: 74%
  • Free and Reduced Percentage: 100%

What are the primary challenges faced by the Food Service program?

Fast Food’s Influence: “Competing with the advertising dollars of McDonald’s and Burger Kind is a challenge. Initially, I had a lot of pushback when I took chicken nuggets off the menu. However, after joining PTA meetings and getting parents on board, our participation has gone back up. I still have chicken nuggets and chicken patties on the menu. For many students in our high needs district, this may be their only hot meal.”

What do you hope to gain from this grant experience?

“Since coming on board back in 2013, I have been working to incorporate less processed foods into our menu mix.  We have reduced our commodity processing from 85% (2013) to 55% (2016).  We have been using more brown box items from the government and doing more scratch-cooking using USDA batch cooking recipes in our menu.  Unfortunately, we still have a number of pre-plate schools for which we get food from a pre-plate feeding company.  I would like to decrease that number of schools.”

How will your district benefit from this experience?

“Last year, we successfully implemented USDA farm to school grant.  We did a tasting of locally grown and organic produce at a number of schools.  A large percentage of our students were unaware of the term local and organic.  However, by the end of the grant implementation, I had emails from parents and administrators wanting more of this. There were also a number of students with health issues who were aware and appreciative of what we were doing.  I think I will learn to incorporate more "scratch cooking" menu items.  I've reviewed Chef Ann's school menu and I like what I see.”

Warren City Schools

  • Warren, OH
  • School District Enrollment: 4,900
  • Number of Schools: 5
  • Average Daily Participation: 83%
  • Free and Reduced Percentage: 83%

What are the primary challenges faced by the Food Service program?

Product Availability: “Our largest challenge is product availability. This problem has forced us to change where we purchase our food. We had to change to a different purchasing service because our hands were tied when they were out of product. The situation is greatly improved; however, manufacturers cannot keep up demands, which results in menu items not being available. When changes need to be made to our menus because of product unavailability, it has overreaching ramifications. With the economy not improving in our area, this year in particular, the department is hearing complaints that students need more food because they are still hungry.”

What do you hope to gain from this grant experience?

“I hope to gain knowledge and ideas that I can take back and apply to my school district.  I hope to develop peer relationships that can be mutually beneficial   to our school districts.”

How will your district benefit from this experience?

“Our district will benefit because it will generate excitement and shine a spotlight on Food Service.  I am a proponent of improving the "status quo", and this will enable us to enhance our program for our students.”

Watertown Public Schools

  • Watertown, MA
  • School District Enrollment: 2,687
  • Number of Schools: 5
  • Average Daily Participation: 40%
  • Free and Reduced Percentage: 28%

What are the primary challenges faced by the Food Service program?

Marketing: “Lack of effective communication, marketing, and presentation of our program after regulation changes in 2012 caused a significant drop in participation. Finding ways to improve participation of our diverse student body and maximizing free and reduced participation has been a challenge.”
Limited Budget: “Rising expenses have prohibited us from purchasing higher quality, healthier products. Outdated aging equipment has led to an increase in repair and maintenance costs. High payroll costs and decreased grant funding sources have limited the amount of professional development we can provide to our staff.”

What do you hope to gain from this grant experience?

“With the assistance provided by this grant, WPS hopes to improve upon their food service program. We hope to gain the tools and experience needed to make greater improvements to the overall operations as well as provide healthier more desirable options for our students.”

How will your district benefit from this experience?

“WPS will be provided the opportunity to learn and gain first hand experience from other districts already making these positive changes. Our operations will benefit from equipment upgrades and staff training. Our students will benefit from healthier great tasting options in the cafeteria. Grant opportunities like this create learning opportunities, and provide equipment and strategies that enable sustainability beyond the grant period.  We are fortunate to have this opportunity!”
Dedicated to improving school meals in America, the three founding cannot wait to help these districts overhaul their meal programs. Program services will begin this Monday, February 8, 2016 and will run all the way through the end of the 2016/2017 school year. Here’s a look at the grant timeline:
  • One-day intensive workshop at Boulder Valley School District (2/8/16)
  • Three-day on-site assessment visits
  • Recommendation reports
  • On-site strategy sessions lead by school food experts
  • Opportunity to apply for $50,000 for each district to purchase new equipment
  • 20 hours of off-site technical assistance 
We will be providing updates on our progress throughout this and next school year!

- See more at: http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/school-food-support-initiative-has-taken-root/#sthash.Lho8peEi.dpuf

The Facts About Salad Bars How to win over naysayers and show them it can be done

This blog was re-posted with the permission of Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools. Read the original post here.
These days, it’s a lot harder to argue against using a salad bar in a school program than it once was. The USDA has backed salad bars as one of the most efficient ways schools can meet the vegetable sub group requirements, and their endorsement has opened the doors for widespread acceptance of the equipment in school cafeterias. School districts all across America are committed to salad bar use as a part of their reimbursable meal.
But there are still naysayers. If someone at your school district is hesitating to implement salad bars because of one of the below concerns, here’s how you can respond, and hopefully bring them around to the idea.
  • Kids Are Too Short – Elementary students can’t serve themselves
This common concern often results in food service staff pre-measuring or “cupping” the appropriate amount of fruits and vegetables, instead of allowing the kids to freely choose from the salad bars. Tiny Kindergarteners may need some assistance, that’s true. Are the First Graders slow? Sure, but let’s face it, if they have the finger dexterity to know their way around your iphone or ipad, they can use tongs to serve themselves a carrot. Focusing on choice at the elementary level will impact eating for the rest of children’s lives. To those naysayers who protest because they’re short on service time, I say we must make the time to teach our kids about food.   Engaging elementary students in identifying and tasting new foods is critical. And it will help our meal counts into the future – after all today’s Kindergartner is going to be your customer for 12 years! The salad bar is a perfect venue.
  • Contamination – Kids will spit, sneeze or stick dirty fingers into the salad bar
​The modern salad bar has a sneeze guard for a reason – to protect all of us from the sudden sneeze. The child-sized equipment with sneeze guards does a fine job of keeping little heads out of the bars. Salad bar training, a pattern of what food is next to what (to minimize spilling) and serving utensils can all be optimized to prevent contamination. I recommend changing out the utensils often. Lunch is max 2.5 hours, more often ‒ under 2 hours in many schools. That’s a small and very attainable window for keeping the salad bar tidy with fresh pans and utensils. And the better we are about teaching kids to use mindful etiquette, the less issues their will be. Talk and train — salad bars are an opportunity to engage.
  • No Space – Our POS is at the end of the hot line, we can’t move it to the dining room, and there’s no room for it before the hot line
​I have been in hundreds of dining rooms of all shapes and sizes – if there’s a will, there’s a way. It might not be perfect, but you can make it happen, especially if you can get your principal on board to participate in changes. For instance, alter how the tables are set up in the cafeteria, and boom! Instant space. Don’t let “That’s the way it’s always been” be your enemy.
  • Too Expensive The equipment is costly and so are fresh fruits and vegetables
​First of all, schools can apply for salad bars from Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, which has been donating new, state-of-the-art equipment all over the country for years, so that takes care of that concern. On to the fruits and vegetables: they’re actually not as costly as you might think if you are tracking your ingredient production and procurement. As part of the reimbursable meal, a selection from the salad bar averages at or less than the cost of a hot vegetable with a fruit cup side. Track your data.   Kids don’t take everything – some kids take the minimum, some kids come back for seconds—it averages itself out. Is it a little more work to procure real produce than buy canned green beans and apple sauce? Yes. It’s something your staff can learn through following Standard Operating Procedures and using resources like The Lunch Box. Is it worth it? You bet.
  • Past Failures – They tried that once here and it didn’t work
​This happens—When I go to school cafeterias to assess meal programs, I sometimes see an old salad bar tucked away in a corner. I ask about it – it might be used for condiments or taco day, but not as a daily salad bar. Why? The response is often “it was too much work and the kids didn’t eat it”.   It may be difficult trying something that was perceived as not successful in the past, but any challenge that you may have experienced can be overcome. Apply for a salad bar grant, review the salad bar section on The Lunch Box, and talk to directors who are using salad bars successfully. Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools partners, Chef Ann Foundation (CAF), the United Fresh Start Foundation, or Whole Kids Foundation, can direct you to one (or one hundred)!
When schools commit to implementing salad bars, it can be game changing for children’s health. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, giving kids variety and choice drastically increases the chance of them eating the healthy options. Simply put, salad bars transform meals for our children, and I hope this blog gives you the confidence to set concerns aside and start using them.
- See more at: http://www.chefannfoundation.org/news-media/the-lunch-line-blog/the-facts-about-salad-bars/#sthash.IwiE92ZH.dpuf