At Fowler High School, Syracuse City School District Officials said students noticed a visible change upon entering the cafeteria this school year. Rather than a typical cafeteria setup, the space has instead been designed to look more like a food court.
According to SCSD officials, the district added new tables and serving carts—as well as new vending machines—to give students additional access to meals.
Ken Warner, SCSD’s director of food and nutrition, said variety is key to feeding students on the go.
“The changes were prompted by a need to offer alternative points of service in district high schools to encourage more students to participate in meal programs,” Warner stated. “Now, students can choose the regular serving area, or one of the five cafeteria locations to get a meal.”
SCSD students also said the changes have come with added benefits.
“It’s more convenient than standing in line,” district student Kheyaire McMullen stated. “Instead, we can go to a vending machine to get our food.”
Destiny Lynch added, “There are better varieties of food this year. We can go to a taco station, get burritos, even veggie burgers for people who don’t eat meat!”
In time, Warner said the food court-style setup will expand to all district high schools.
However, for now, he said Nottingham has tested a remote serving cart, with students providing positive feedback, and carousel-style vending machines have been installed at Lincoln, Clary and Grant, as well as a new service line at Danforth.
“Since participation in meal programs at the middle schools is similar to that at the high schools, we are hoping these changes will encourage more students to participate,” Warner stated.
Interested individuals may visit the Food and Nutrition Department website to view monthly menus, or to provide feedback to the district regarding its food and nutrition program.