2013 K-12 Power Players

Take a look at the top 50 K-12 Power Players in this interactive, sortable data table

NamePinellas County (FL) Schools
DirectorArt Dunham
No. of School Sites144
Revenue/Budget$59.6 million
Free/Reduced Pct56.20%
Breakfast ParticipationN/A
No. of Meals Served62,238/day
High School Lunch Cash Price$2.50
Phone(727) 547-7155
Breakfast ServedY
Lunch ServedY
After School Snack ServedY
Supper ProgramY
Summer Feeding ProgramY
NarrativeIn Pinellas County, FL, Director Art Dunham has managed to keep the district “ahead of the curve” during the recent years of K-12 meal program change, and technology has played a key role in that effort. The district was an early adopter of biometrics, using a palm reading system to speed up lines and give cashiers instant access to account, allergen sensitivity and other information. Fifty five-inch digital menu boards display highly engagiing nutrition education videos to students waiting in line. A screen “crawl” is used for general messaging and to emphasize ongoing food and other promotions.Dunham was also one of the first to implemen iPhone/iPad apps and text messaging as a way of engaging students in nutrition education competitions and to provide meal program feedback on a weekly basis. Plenty of creative thinking goes in to the district’s approach to meal production and other conventional school nutrition activities as well. Dunham oversees the district’s vending program and led the district to progressively meet the meal pattern regulations two years ahead of time. In doing so was able to phase in the required food types gradually, to get the kids used to and accepting of the new offerings. Trucks with heated and refrigerated compartments are used to satellite food to those schools without onsite kitchen facilities. Pinellas begins a supper program this month and has been an early adopter of the Community Eligibility (CE) program. It has used that to qualify 58 schools for subsidized meals and the universal breakfast program made possible at those schools took breakfast meals served from 18,000 to 24,000 daily. That increase contributed to significant increases in the district’s produce costs, but the added volume also helped cover the costs, Dunham says. (He also notes that income from the district’s a la carte program is used to cover qualification expenses that are no longer reimbursed because of CE use). On the menu front, commodity fruits and vegetables are used to produce a very popular smoothie line sold as a la carte item (the cash income helped cover the extra labor and equipment required). “It lets us use sweet potatoes, which kids don’t usually want to eat, and by adding orange and pineapple juice and a sugar-free triple sec flavoring to produce an ‘Orange Blast’ our kids just line up for,” he says. “Plus, they’re getting their Vitamin A,” Dunham adds.
Lunch ParticipationN/A

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