Recipe for Change: Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, Houston, Texas

Recipe for Change: Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, Houston, Texas
Cafeteria Salad Bar

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, Houston, Texas

  • Number of Schools: 79

  • Number of Students: 106,000

  • Innovation: Leveraging a Central Kitchen

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent is a very large school district, with nearly 80 schools and more than 100,000 students. To ensure that all students in the district have access to nutritious food that does not bust the budget, the district centralized its meal preparation, creating meals en masse in a central production center that serves all of the district’s schools.

The central kitchen was built in 1986, and it has increased the variety of healthy and appealing meals offered to students at all grade levels. The district purchases approximately 700 tons of fresh produce annually, and the central production center allows it to efficiently prepare and serve fresh-cut fruit throughout the week, including watermelon, pineapple, orange and apple slices, grapes and cantaloupe.

“Having one receiving point (the production center) instead of 79 individual campuses keeps the cost of fresh fruit reasonable,” said Matt Morgan, food service director for the district. He and his staff have also developed other healthy recipes they produce in large quantities and serve at each campus, such as entrée salads, including grilled chicken Caesar salad, chef’s salad, southwest grilled chicken salad and fresh spinach salad.

“Serving food to a hundred thousand kids is a daunting task,” said Morgan. “But even with that many kids, there are easy low- and no-cost changes that can make a huge difference in the quality of nutrition.”[1]


[1] Matthew Morgan, telephone interview, April 19, 2011.

The front facade of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.
ian-hutchinson-U8WfiRpsQ7Y-unsplash.jpg_master

Agenda for America

A collection of resources to help federal, state, and local decision-makers set an achievable agenda for all Americans

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.

Lightbulbs
Lightbulbs

States of Innovation

Data-driven state policy innovations across America

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.

Latest from Health