School administrations across the country have been hard at work drafting plans of when to reopen schools, and how to do so safely amid concerns over the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. As preparations are being finalized and schools are adapting to address parental concerns and meet the demands of a not-so-traditional school year, there are many considerations to be made in order to effectively prioritize the health and wellbeing of students and faculty. Some such factors include, but are not limited to:
- How to adapt the classroom layout and common areas to accommodate safe social distancing
- How long does the COVID-19 coronavirus live on common classroom surfaces, and what updates need to be made to cleaning and disinfecting procedures
- How to protect students and staff at a higher risk of severe illness
- Where to place hand hygiene stations to encourage frequent hand washing and sanitizing
Lakeside Manufacturing is one such vendor adapting their renowned, made-in-the-USA product solutions to assist schools in rising to meet this new normal. The classroom is only one such location in the school that’ll need to be adjusted. But what about school lunches? What follows are recommendations on how to adapt the traditional lunchtime setting to safely serve school lunches.
Reducing where students and faculty must travel throughout the school building is a good way to limit the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, and keep traffic volume at a minimum, therefore reducing the risk of possible transmission. Keeping students in the classroom as much as possible can help achieve this. Therefore, instead of releasing students to join others in a large cafeteria environment for their daily lunch, consider bringing the lunch to them.
These Lakeside product solutions will help.
Lakeside utility carts are perfect for delivering meals and dining essentials around school grounds. They’re available in a variety of sizes and options, including plastic and stainless steel, and offer an easy-to-clean version of mobile serving. They’re also designed with heavy-duty wheels for multi-terrain transport.
The Lakeside Easy-Tow™ classroom meal delivery system features a built-in hitch system that allows multiple carts to connect to each other to make it easier to deliver all meals for the entire classroom in one drop-off. They’re ideal for contactless delivery in the hallways, or for restocking vending machines or grab-and-go stations.
Meal Delivery Carts for Boxed Meals
Lakeside meal delivery carts are an ideal solution for contactless delivery of boxed meals. Each delivery cart is specially designed to fit one classroom worth of meals. Each shelf holds two bus tubs, and there’s enough clearance to accommodate milk crates.
Sheet Pan Racks
Similar to their meal delivery carts, Lakeside’s sheet pan racks can also be used for contactless delivery in hallways, enabling the transport of pre-packaged meals. The design of their sheet pan racks allows them to easily fit and maneuver through narrow halls and doorways for longer transport.
Remote service in this sense refers to means in which students and faculty can receive their meals on their own time, therefore preventing mass congregation around central serving lines. Remote service allows students to get their meals when and where it is most convenient and safest for social distancing practices.
Some Lakeside products that help accomplish remote service include:
Compact Snack Kiosks
Lakeside’s snack kiosks are ideal for organizing contents and quick delivery, either to classrooms or for setup in common areas, enabling passerby to grab and go. A wide variety of sizes and options are available, including those with insulated ice bins to hold cold items, hot wells, custom graphics, double-sided overshelves, internal storage, etc.
Full-Size Mart Carts
Lakeside Mart Carts are another ideal solution for serving lunch away from the main dining areas, perfect for Grab-N-Go meals or snacks, breakfast serving, and other remote vending, given its flexible interior with adjustable shelving. The optional chill bin can hold two standard sized milk crates while the full perimeter bumper protects walls and furnishings during transit. There’s also an optional dropleaf with a grommet for a POS cord to help better facilitate ease of transactions. Available in several laminate finishes with the options for custom graphics.
If you’re looking to still use the regular cafeteria space, social distancing should be maintained. This can be a challenge among students. Therefore, reduced capacity and solid communication are necessary. These Lakeside solutions will help make it clear where lines start, and where students should stand while also offering a renewed emphasis on organization and protection for staff working behind the counter.
Vertical Safety Shields
Safety shields create a protective barrier between cafeteria staff and students to prevent the spread of germs and viruses without impeding face to face interaction.
Traffic rails help control and organize crowds, redesigning common spaces to provide a safe, efficient flow of traffic. Lakeside traffic rails are available for temporary or permanent setups, and are customizable to fit your specific theme and layout. Multiple heights are available for different grade levels, and Lakeside offers a lifetime warranty on their frames.
Merchandising Carts for Grab-N-Go Off the Line
Lakeside offers a huge assortment of various carts, including several configurations of merchandising carts that enable delivery to classrooms and common spaces. Featuring several sizes and options, such as insulated ice bins, hot wells, dropleaf with cord port, custom graphics, double-sided overshelves, internal storage, one to three wells on top, etc.
- Guide to Reopening K-12 Schools Amid COVID-19
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures for COVID-19 in the K-12 Setting
- How to Protect High-Risk Students and Faculty When Reopening Your School
- Schools and COVID-19: Placing Hand Sanitizing Stations
- Adapting the Classroom Layout to Promote Safe Social Distancing
- Repurpose Your School’s Equipment to Meet COVID-19 Challenges
- Top Coronavirus Safety Products and Why You Need Them
- Handwashing and Sanitizing Best Practices: When and How You Should Wash Your Hands to Protect Against Illness
Chase joined Central Restaurant Products in February 2016 as a Content Specialist, bringing to the role years of various foodservice experience, including front-of-house service (slingin’ chicken wings and libations with a smile on his face) and back-of-house food prep using heavy-duty commercial cooking equipment to prepare for peak dining hours at his university’s dining hall.
He puts this experience to use writing for Central’s Resource Center, website, and print catalog. ServSafe certified, he enjoys educating on food safety in the commercial setting, researching new dining room and tabletop trends, and sharing innovative solutions to enhance operational efficiencies. He also enjoys (in no specific order) long hikes with his dog, bingeing 90s sitcoms, red wine, and live music.