Increase Participation with Lunch Kits

Posted February 20, 2023

The Challenge: Participation numbers were low. K—5 students were opting for bringing their own lunch, including a high percentage of retail packaged lunch kits.
The Solution: Oliver’s Speedseal CX Model 1308 Countertop system. Three-compartment meal trays—fiber or plastic—item numbers 58104 and 7230-6101.
The Results: 60% increase in participation. Reduced time for students waiting in line to be served lunch. Expanded menu options using existing labor and without extending production time.
Customer Profile: Carlise Community Schools, IA
Director: Hollie Butlier 
Students served daily:  600

Hollie Butlier, Food Service Director for Carlise Community Schools, witnessed a decline in participation, especially in the K-5 grades. A walkabout during lunchtime led to the discovery of many retail brand pre-packaged lunch kits. Knowing the high sodium content and the missing nutrition of fruit and veggies in this convenience package, Hollie went into problem-solving mode.

While attending a School Nutrition Association Annual     National Conference, she heard other directors talking about Oliver. "I thought people were talking about a person named Oliver," Hollie recalls. She discovered Oliver was not a person but a meal packaging solution, so she picked up the phone and called Oliver for more information.

Two weeks into SY 2021/22, Hollie introduced Paw Packs—a healthy, fully reimbursable lunch kit packaged using Oliver's Speedseal® Packaging System. “I've seen participation increase, on average, by 60%, since serving Paw Packs,”  Hollie states. 

Implementing the Oliver solution came with some concerns. Having no prior experience with a packaging process, how would this impact her staff? Would it take more time each day? As it turned out, the demand for Paw Packs reduced the time required for hot meal production and freed up two staff to package Paw Packs. And an unexpected benefit - faster line serving times. "Paw Packs are a fully reimbursable meal in a grab-n-go package. It's a quick pick up through the serving line, and kids are at a table and eating lunch faster than the hot serving line,” Hollie shared..