NORTH SALEM, N.Y.-A breakfast cart is coming to North Salem Middle/High School to increase morning meal consumption among the teens.
Karen Seikovsky, food service director for district food vendor Aramark, said the cart is designed for students too busy to stop into the cafeteria in the morning.
The cart will feature a warming station so many of the items served in the cafeteria can be served at the cart, as well, along with beverages, smoothies, breakfast sandwiches and cereal.
Seikovsky said the cart has been ordered and “hopefully in a couple of weeks we’ll have it up and going.”
Seikovsky presented her annual dining services review to the North Salem Board of Education on Feb. 14.
The report concluded that daily participation in food distribution went up this calendar year despite lowering enrollment.
This year the school served 67,454 meals, up 3,249 from last year. This equated to a total profit of $47,742, up from last year’s total of $34,741.
More students were eligible for reduced-price breakfasts this year, from 1.5 percent to 3.3 percent of the student population, but eligibility for free and reduced-price lunches stayed about the same from last year.
Across the district, students preferred Italian food more than other options, with Mexican and Asian fare coming in as second and third favorite options, while vegetarian selections gained in popularity.
To get kids excited about the daily offerings, Aramark conducts promotions with samples of the food available in front of colorful displays.
Aramark tracked meal consumption during promotional and non-promotional weeks and found that promotions drive participation and get students excited about the next promotion.
In the elementary school, Aramark is also trying a new tactic to get kids through the lunch line faster and to try more foods by creating trays containing all meal components instead of letting kids pick and choose items.
Seikovsky said she has seen kids throwing out some items on the tray, mostly fruit, but says the benefits at this point outweigh the amount of food waste.
In all of the schools, Aramark is partnering with Farm Logix, a farm-to-school program that connects the food vendor with local farms. This increases the use of local fruits and vegetables and helps determine the monthly meal promotions.