This chapter of the report describes the Food Services operations of the Mt. Pleasant Independent School District (MPISD) and includes the following sections:
The mission of a school Food Services program is to provide a nutritious breakfast and lunch to students and to break even financially. Several factors can be used to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of a school food services operation. These include: a high ratio of meals served per labor hour (MPLH), food costs and the amount of waste, participation in breakfast and lunch programs, nutritional value and the variety of meals served, the wait time per student served, and financial self-sufficiency.
The federal government sponsors the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs, which provides food commodities and funds for meals for more than 26 million children annually in more than 94,000 schools across the country. The Texas Education Agency's (TEA) Child Nutrition Programs Division oversees the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs in Texas public schools.
The MPISD Food Services Department operates eight kitchens and cafeterias and employs 63 staff, which serve seven schools and the Child Development Center. The high school kitchen prepares food for the alternative school. The department's annual operating budget for the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program in 1997-98 was $1,143,022. An Enterprise Fund for the Snack Bar had a budget of $132,884.
The department has operated profitably and has a fund balance from 1997-98 of $186,536. The department's annual budget is 4.5 percent of MPISD's total budget, compared to an average of 5.3 percent in RESC VIII school districts, and an average of 5 percent for all districts in the state.
MPISD participates in the federally-funded United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Services programs, which includes the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Donated Commodities, and the Food Distribution programs. MPISD receives additional federal funds for participating in the Head Start Program. For the 1998-99 school year, MPISD also will receive approximately $10,000 in produce from a United States Department of Defense pilot program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Project, administered through the Texas Department of Human Services.
To qualify for federal reimbursement, school meals must meet minimum nutrition standards and appropriate nutrient and calorie levels designated for age group. Reimbursement means federal cash assistance, including advances paid or payable, to participating schools for breakfasts and lunches meeting the requirements and served to eligible children. Cash for meals is also received from the students, faculty, staff, and members of the community who eat in the schools. The district prepares 95 percent of its food from scratch, with tested recipes prepared by the USDA, and uses few, if any, convenience foods. Students are served on permanent ware; only cups, napkins, take-out containers, and a la carte snack bar items are served in disposable ware. Exhibit 9-1 presents the reimbursable rates for each eligible breakfast and lunch served. These are the amounts the district is reimbursed by the federal government for each free and reduced-price breakfast or lunch served to eligible students.
Source: Texas Education Agency.
MPISD Federal Reimbursable Rates For Breakfast and Lunch
Meal Amount Breakfast Full Price $0.2000 Reduced-Price $0.7725 Free $1.0725 Serve Need Reduced Price $0.2000 Serve Need Free Price $0.2000 Lunch Full Price $0.1800 Reduced-Price $1.5425 Free $1.9425
The actual number of meals served compared to average daily attendance is referred to as the participation rate. Participation data are reported to the TEA, and schools are reimbursed on the percentage of participation for those students who are eligible. MPISD and peer districts are shown in Exhibit 9-2. MPISD ranked second among its peer districts in meal participation.
Source: Texas Education Agency/WCL Enterprises.
MPISD and Peer District Percentage
Of Average Daily Participation of Average Daily Attendance
Peer District 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 Liberty-Eylau 51% 50% 51% Mt. Pleasant 42% 43% 51% Corsicana 42% 40% 40% Greenville 42% 42% 40% Paris 43% 45% 39% Athens 34% 30% 32% Kilgore 32% 33% 29% Kaufman 31% 28% 27%
According to the MPISD business manager, the district experienced a 10-percent decrease in reimbursable breakfast sales, a 17-percent increase in reimbursable lunches, 30-percent increase in snack bar and other sales, and an overall 13-percent increase in annual revenues from 1995-1998, as shown in Exhibit 9-3.
MPISD Food Services Annual Revenue Report
1995-96 - 1997-98
Revenue Source 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 Percentage Change
over the Period
Breakfast sales $11,869 $9,943 $10,631 -10% Sale of reimbursable lunches $140,140 $141,573 $163,661 17% Snack Bar ala carte and other sales $182,033 $196,935 $236,458 30% Sales to adults $34,631 $32,106 $35,040 2% Federal reimbursement $780,664 $779,634 $862,250 11% Miscellaneous Income $16,859 $17,415 $17,301 3% Interest earned $14,124 $15,335 $10,882 -23% Subtotal Income $1,166,196 $1,176,706 $1,325,342 13%
Source: MPISD Business Manager.
TEA compiles data on school food services revenues from all school districts in Texas. MPISD's peer district comparisons for food service revenues are shown in Exhibit 9-4.
Source: Texas Education Agency.
MPISD and Peer District Revenues
1994-95 - 1996-97
District 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 Budget 1997-98 Percentage Change
over the Period
Greenville $1,527,046 $1,625,132 $1,667,394 $1,658,000 8% Corsicana $1,415,134 $1,508,429 $1,651,467 $1,523,305 7% Texarkana $1,563,395 $1,634,275 $1,644,260 $1,523,672 -3% Mt. Pleasant $1,066,917 $1,122,625 $1,224,682 $1,020,700 -5% Paris $1,202,467 $1,302,289 $1,202,467 $1,387,329 13% Terrell $1,091,925 $1,1092,272 $1,179,473 $1,153,947 5% Kilgore $964,324 $877,734 $898,850 $872,000 -11% Athens $847,544 $896,193 $858,747 $1,015,545 17% Liberty-Eylau $781,101 $796,944 $813,694 $871,145 10% Kaufman $647,694 $642,846 $666,261 $628,201 -3%
In 1997-98, MPISD served 480,877 total lunches, a 10-percent increase over 1995-96 (Exhibit 9-5). The total number of breakfasts served was 211,489; a 15-percent increase. MPISD has increased
participation in all types of meals served, except in breakfasts and lunches served at full price. The most significant increase was the 68-percent increase in breakfasts served at reduced price.
Exhibit 9-5Source: MPISD Business Manager.
MPISD Statistical and Fiscal Report
1995-96 - 1997-98
Measure 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 Percentage Change
over the Period
Days in operation 175 176 176 N/A Lunches served at full price 129,593 124,171 123,549 -5% Reimbursable lunches served at reduced price 25,382 32,784 38,000 5% Reimbursable lunches served free 281,832 304,832 319,328 13% Total lunches served 436,807 461,619 480,877 10% Breakfasts served at full price 25,370 18,917 20,808 -18% Breakfasts served at reduced price 8,908 11,795 14,995 68% Breakfast served free 149,147 157,990 175,686 18% Total breakfasts served 183,425 188,882 211,489 15%
TSPR surveyed the employees, teachers, parents, central administration, and support staff about Food Services (Exhibit 9-6). The results indicate the respondents' overall approval of the Food Services Department.
Source: TSPR Survey Results.
Summary of Survey Data
Management and Performance Review
Grade Statement A B C D F Don't Know No Response Quality of food served 23% 31% 25% 12% 3% 6% 0% Efficiency and effectiveness of the Food Services Department 28% 38% 16% 4% 3% 8% 2% The food served in the cafeteria tastes good Strongly Agree 11% Agree 41% No Opinion 13% Disagree 15% Strongly Disagree 0% 7%
Fifty-four percent of the teachers who responded gave either an "A" or "B" to the quality of food. Sixty-six percent of all respondents gave an "A" or "B" to the statement about the efficiency and effectiveness of the department. In the campus administrator survey, 52 percent of the participants "strongly agreed" or "agreed" that the food served in the cafeteria tastes good.
The most recent TEA compliance review was completed in November 1997, resulting in four findings and two recommendations. The four findings were:
- Some of the free and reduced-price meal applications reviewed in the district were incorrectly approved.
- Some lunches observed on the day of the review in the district were missing one or more components.
- The collection procedure used for lunch causes overt identification of those students receiving free and reduced-price meals at Mt. Pleasant Junior High School.
- Food production records of meals served and claimed for reimbursement at lunch at E. C. Brice Elementary School are incomplete.
The review's two recommendations were:
- Sack lunches (cold) should not be served to students as punishment; the cafeteria is capable of transporting hot meals safely.
- Write and submit plan for the use of net cash resources in Food Services account.
The MPISD Food Services department prepared a corrective action plan that was accepted by TEA and implemented on December 11, 1997.