Cash counters benefit schools focused on improving their breakfast and lunch programs. They allow staff to quickly and accurately record the money they receive from students who purchase meals. These team members can then spend more time working on other initiatives, such as improving food options.
According to the School Nutrition Association, 61 percent of students in an average school district buy their lunches daily. Though this number is smaller than in the past, it still means school administrators have a lot of work on their hands. Coordinating lunches requires schedule adjustments and menu planning, especially in light of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which took effect in 2014. Most cafeteria workers spend their entire days preparing for breakfast and lunch.
"It's 1 o'clock before you know it because you're consistently moving all the time," Audrey Jones, who runs the lunch program at Catonsville Elementary, told The Baltimore Sun. "There's always something for you to do."
One of Jones' numerous tasks involves tracking the money exchanged when students pay for lunch. She also answers questions from parents related to how their children spend their lunch money and what foods they eat. Schools across U.S. have so far been effective at introducing healthier, more diverse food options. Those in Baltimore County in particular also saw higher rates of school lunch participation, from 47,608 meals during the 2014-2015 school year to 48,766 the next.
Cash counters can help employees like Jones maintain accurate records by quickly counting all the money received from students each day. Not only does this help individual schools and districts provide more accurate financial reports, but it also frees up staff to further focus on providing healthy meals for children.
November 30, 2016