Webb City Schools Anticipate Big Savings by Adding Food Storage - KOAM TV 7

Webb City Schools Anticipate Big Savings by Adding Food Storage Buildings


The Webb City school district believes it can save one hundred thousand dollars a year just by changing the way it stores food.

On Tuesday kids at Webster elementary lined up for trays full of food. Meats, veggies and fruits that currently are stored in Springfield and then trucked in by a semi once a week to each school.

Something assistant superintendent Kevin Cooper said costs the district.

"When we looked at the price to store that, ship that, we did some research.  If we did that here, we could save the district a considerable amount of money."

So the district constructed two five thousand square foot storage buildings a quarter mile north of the high school. Food service will start by using one. Inside there's a thirty-eight by twenty-four foot cooler and freezer combination. Eventually a warehouse worker may be hired.

Cooper said, "This will be the central warehouse for the entire district. We have eleven different buildings in the district so everything is housed out of here. Then that delivery person will make deliveries two to three times a week."

The building will have five racks standing twelve feet tall with three shelves each so the district can take advantage of commodities which are free food.
Food services director Dina Winningham explained commodity open orders, "That is a monthly  thing DESE puts out so we can get more free stuff.

Space was limited at the Springfield location so the district didn’t utilize the commodity open order as much as it would now.

If we can have it here, we can order more we don’t have to use it in a month, to not pay storage on it, so we'll be able to use that throughout the year. And you know, just add up and add up, so that’s a lot of savings," said Winningham. And she said it helps supply a variety of foods. "We use the frozen fruits. We use, all our meats are frozen, of course chicken, beef. And every once in while beef is offered (as commodity)  so we're gonna be able to take advantage of that too. That's a big savings."

With required items on food trays, officials say it can be hard to break even financially in food service. But that's expected to change.
Cooper said, "We’re thinking in the first year, we could pretty much pay for the freezer itself.  So, we're hoping for one hundred thousand dollars in savings in year one alone."

And future savings would go back into the program to possibly add equipment and expand small kitchens in older buildings. Webster head cook Dennell Crabtree said space is tight, "You run into everybody. You have, you turn around, there’s always someone there. You're always running into somebody.  So, it'd be great to have bigger space."


The district spent one hundred sixty thousand dollars on the two buildings, one hundred thousand dollars on the freezer and about twenty thousand dollars more for a fork truck and shelving. But officials believe the district will save enough to pay it off in two or three years. 

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