How the right software supports your school nutrition programs during school closures
Schools have closed, but teaching continues online. Likewise, the school cafeteria continues to operate in most communities. Providing school meals has always been an integral part of school administration, and now, with the school closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools must adapt how they serve, prepare, and distribute school meals. The support that empowers staff, administrators, and parents to meet these new challenges can be found in the right school nutrition software.
School nutrition software supports the need for adaptability during this time of crisis in the following ways:
No need for hardware purchase or capital investment – Your school nutrition software should live on the cloud and be accessible 24/7 from any device such as a computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. Also, because cloud-based software doesn’t require purchasing specialty hardware, getting systems and software up and running is efficient and easy, limiting the need for time-consuming approval processes and installations for expensive equipment.
Immediate communication among staff, parents, and students – The right school nutrition software will offer supportive, integrated communication apps. This way, information can be quickly disseminated to staff, and especially parents and students. Parents and students need clear information on the availability and nutritional quality of new curbside, grab-and-go, or delivered meals. They have to know what the meals contain, especially when they need to monitor food allergies, calories, and more. You’ll also want to facilitate and encourage feedback since this information can be critical in ingredient selection and preparation of school meals.
Online applications for eligibility – According to the USDA’s emergency planning guidelines for the COVID-19 outbreak, “Schools should use current free/reduced-price certification information or, if necessary…immediate prior year eligibility”. Your school nutrition software will track the eligibility of students for free or reduced-price lunches, as well as enable parents or adults to apply for lunch program eligibility through an easy-to-use app.
Tracking, reporting, and decision-making – School nutrition software needs to track guidelines and changes to school lunch programs, and how these changes are implemented. The right software empowers decision-makers with the necessary information in school, districts, and across the state to supply children with meals during this time of isolation and distancing.
At Harris School Nutrition Solutions, we are committed to helping schools continue to feed their students, now more than ever. Contact our team of friendly experts to learn how the right software can support your schools, students, and communities, as we continue to provide healthy, consistent meals for children.