Changes in food service recommended

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 6/16/98.

The Paynesville School District was given several ways how they could save money in the food service department during their Tuesday night school board meeting.

Dahn Carrison, food service consultant with DahneCo, River Falls, Wis., outlined areas where improve-ments could be made. He told the board, ďPaynesville has a good program, it just needs fine tuning.Ē

In his study, he explained areas where he felt the district could save money.

ďThe district is wasting money on the bulk milk program and needs to market their school lunch program,Ē Carrison said. ďBulk milk is a costly item costing the district thousands of dollars. My observation at the schools showed that many of the students were not taking the proper amount of milk which could jeopardize the districtís state and federal funding. By eliminating bulk milk the district could save $25,300 per year in labor and equipment costs,Ē he added.

A survey was taken at the end of the school year asking students in the middle and high school which they preferred: bulk or carton milk. The survey results showed that 151 students preferred bulk milk; 188 carton milk and 182 didnít care.

He suggested to the board they had too many employees in the kitchen and to better utilize them, the district should offer a breakfast program at the middle and high school and possibly an after school snack program.

Carrison recommended starting a breakfast program at the senior and middle school and also starting an after school food service program for those busy in club activities, sports, etc., making better use of the districtís labor package. It would also provide a service to parents who might be visiting the school for a late afternoon activity. ďThis program would provide extra income to start upgrading some of the equipment that needs replacement in the near future,Ē he added.

He also suggested eliminating the free milk provided to the first through third graders in the district. The students are offered breakfast from 7:55 to 8:15 a.m. and lunch is served from 11:05 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., leaving students without milk for three hours.

Carrison recommended the district eliminate the student help in food service and replace them with one adult. ďI feel the district could save money with the use of an adult instead of students in the kitchen as the students were observed standing around and talking more than working,Ē he said.

This past school year, the district had four students working in food service at a cost of $5,300.

He also suggested using disposable bowls and utensils in the breakfast program, cutting three to six hours of labor as there wouldnít be anything to wash.

Superintendent Howard Caldwell told the board many of the recommendations could be incorporated into a compre-hensive program proposal for the 1998-99 school year.

ďWe need to look at all the unknown problems which might arise,Ē Caldwell said. ďWe would also need to investigate the various impacts new programs might have on the district before we can implement any recommendations, such as the afternoon school snacks or high school breakfast program.Ē

Caldwell added, ďI feel his information was very helpful and valuable. It will help us develop a more efficient and effective food service program.Ē

In other business:

The board reviewed the proposed 1998-99 budget. Caldwell said the future isnít bright as the expenditures exceed the revenues in many areas.

Fund Revenue Expenditure
General $7,570,662 $8,184,936
Food service 323,800 419,668
Community service 190,061 197,425
Debt redemption 714,20 691,347

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