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Some School Districts Can Take Steps to Reduce Their Food Service Costs and Ensure Self-Sufficiency

Report 04-32, May 2004

Report Summary

If school district food service program revenues fail to cover costs, then districts often must subsidize their food service operations through their general operating budgets, thus draining funds that could otherwise be used in the classroom. Therefore, school districts should take steps to carefully manage their food service program costs and optimize revenue opportunities. Some of the more successful school districts have implemented strategies to

  • reduce food costs by joining a cooperative to receive volume discounts, making better use of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) commodities matching food item orders to supplier stock items, and using processors to convert commodities;
  • decrease labor and operational costs by using pre-prepared foods, implementing a shared manager program, and outsourcing warehousing and delivery services; and
  • increase program revenues by promoting the food service program, identifying and reducing participation barriers, using a la carte items, and establishing fair meal prices.

Related Reports
  1. Providing a Free Breakfast to All Public School Students Would Be Costly for Most School Districts
    Report 09-05 February 2009
  2. School Districts' Food Service Programs Generally Are Not Financially Self-Sufficient
    Report 09-04 February 2009
  3. No Changes Are Necessary to the State's Organization of School Nutrition Programs
    Report 09-03 February 2009
  4. Best Practices Could Help School Districts Reduce Their Food Service Program Costs
    Report 09-02 February 2009
Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by email OPPAGA@oppaga.fl.gov, telephone (850) 488-0021, or mail 111 W. Madison St., Room 312 Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475.
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