FT. LAUDERDALE, FL -- VE South reports that its meal delivery program for schools has been adopted by New Jersey's East Orange School District. With the installation, Star Food Healthy Express now is serving schoolchildren in 25 states.
The East Orange School District, which borders Newark, obtained its first Star Food machine through a grant from the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council. It will be ready for Campus High School students in East Orange when school begins in early September.
VE South vice-president and general manager Joe Gilbert explained that the Star Food program was developed to help solve the problem of today's large school enrollments and shortened lunch periods. The Star Food machine incorporates an easy-to-use cashless payment system that interfaces with schools' point-of-sale systems and student database, associating young patrons with their individual accounts through a simple password system for immediate service.
The machine delivers Department of Agriculture-compliant meals in 17 to 20 seconds. It can accommodate 3-, 4- and 5-component meals for lunch service, and can be used for breakfast and snack programs as well. All meal components are delivered simultaneously.
"This is a tried and true technology being put to use feeding more kids across the country," Gilbert explained. "School kids can have healthy food in seconds rather than stand in line in a cafeteria.
On a national average, he reported, only about 38% of the population of a school can be served within the short time allotted for lunch. "Schools are missing many of their students," he observed.
It is this challenge that Star Foods was established to address; the company's mission statement is "Feed More Kids." School programs using Star Food machines are experiencing average sales increases of 24%, Gilbert said, and well over 500 of the machines are now in service.