The New Orleans school district plans to use 11 central kitchens to produce hot lunches for more than 30 schools this fall. Ten will be located at schools and an 11th at an old state mental health facility.
Each kitchen will serve two to five schools as determined by foodservices provider Sodexho. Refrigerated trucks will haul the food to sites where it will be rethermed.
The solution was devised as a cost-saving measure that avoids the expense of rebuilding kitchens in individual schools that may not ultimately be kept open. Even though the district expects an influx of some 7,000 new students this fall, anticipated enrollment counts for future years may not warrant rebuilding every school that was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina two years ago.