Current issues with school food cover a pretty broad spectrum, from the amount of healthy food being taken in to how much the average school lunch costs. With all of these concerns at the top of mind, it can become very difficult to figure out an effective plan of action. However, what if one item could help contribute an answer while also helping the environment? Would you purchase it for your school?
The quick, easy and affordable answer to get on the right track: lunch trays! Looking back at how many cafeterias used to work, it’s amazing to think that a product that was once so common has now been replaced by disposables. In fact, according to an article on informinc.org, the Office of School Food and Nutrition Services for New York City found that NYC public schools serve 800,000 meals per day on disposable trays.
While disposable trays may cut down on water by eliminating washing, they create other issues with the amount of trash created and the expenses for constantly buying new items. Re-usable lunch trays can actually solve both matters. Since the trays are being used by several students every day, the cost is cut down. There is simply the initial cost of buying the product and the daily cleaning. This re-use is also beneficial in reducing the amount of daily waste from a school and lowering air pollution due to the transport of the trays from a factory to the school on a regular basis. Lower delivery frequency means fewer delivery fees as well.
In terms of health, re-usable trays can also make a significant difference. Brian Wasink, a Cornell economics professor, studied how items like school trays can increase the amount of healthy items. In an article with The Boston Globe, Wasink shared that, “providing lunch trays increased the likelihood that children will choose healthy items.” His team also found that when children have to carry they food, they are more likely to grab for quick, comfort items.
With benefits like this it’s difficult to deny that lunch trays really do have a purpose in the school cafeteria (other than just transporting food). To help you better consider the switch from disposable to re-useable tray, Central has created a tray buying guide especially for schools to assist you in making the most informed decision. Once the buying guide has helped you decide which trays are right for your school, we’ll give you one more incentive to make the upgrade! From now until June 30, 2011, Central is featuring 25% off select compartment tray colors (Models 250-288 and 250-345 only)!