COVID-19 has changed the School Lunch Landscape

Whether your school has already reopened, or is planning to reopen soon, lunch is likely one of the big elephants in the room, and for a reason: lunch lines and cafeterias, as they existed pre-COVID, aren’t exactly synonymous with social distancing. Here at Boonli, our goal is to make school lunch one less thing to have on your plate this year. Our lunch experts have compiled some tips and tricks from our customers and how they are using Boonli to adapt their lunch programs.  


Our 5 Tips for Adapting your School Lunch Program 


1.  Consult CDC guidelines 

Every school will face their own unique obstacles as they plan to reopen. Boonli recommends consulting CDC guidelines for schools to make informed decisions that keeps students and staff safe. The CDC provides guides for managing daily operations, such as masks in schools, screening students for symptoms, maintaining good hygiene practices, as well as protecting your school staff. They also provide posters and graphics to print, and various other resources for teachers and admins. 

2. Make Lunches Pre-ordered

Pre-ordered lunches are key to achieving contactless school lunch. Shifting your school’s lunch orders to an online pre-order system will also decrease points of contact between students and staff by allowing parents and students to pay and order for meals ahead of time. This is where Boonli has you covered!


3. Keep Lunches Bagged or Boxed & Labeled

Congregate meal settings and buffet /walk-up style cafeterias may not be an available option as you reopen. Many of Boonli’s schools use an individually bagged/boxed lunch distribution system, that works seamlessly with new guidelines. Depending on your school’s lunch program and the lunch vendors you work with, we recommend updating your school lunch program to a bagged/boxed lunch distribution system. Boonli’s school lunch platform includes labels which are already formatted. You can even provide your vendors with their own limited access login to print labels themselves. Labels can be grouped in many ways:  by meal type, student, grade, lunch session, and location…just to name a few. We make lunch drop-offs and pick-ups simple and straightforward.

4. Staggered Lunch Times or Lunch in the Classroom

Many schools on the Boonli platform have opted to split students into lunch groups to maintain social distancing and avoid large and crowded cafeterias. Boonli recommends staggering your lunch times (which some of you do already), or to have students eat lunch with the students they already interact with most, such as their classroom. With Boonli’s reporting suite, you can select the report groupings that work best for your school lunch program.


5. Maintain Ventilation, or Opt for Outdoors! (If possible)

We recommend keeping cafeterias and lunch areas well ventilated, by keeping windows open, investing in air filtration systems if possible, or moving lunch outdoors whenever the weather allows it.

We're here to help

If you have some tips on how you have adapted your Lunch Program, or would like some help adapting your school lunch program, our Lunch Experts would love to hear from you. Give us a call at 1-800-381-6511; let's chat!

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