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Inside HISD's massive food services operation: Where does that school lunch come from?

Need 40,000 tasty and nutritious whole wheat rolls in an hour?

The Houston Independent School District (HISD) does, and it achieves that seemingly impossible task with its state-of-the-art food services facility. The central location, a 220,000-square-foot complex with a fresh produce and other foods receiving center, production kitchen, cook-chill bakery and enormous refrigeration unit, is now readying for the school year.

The goal once again: To serve 50 million meals annually to help give students the brain power to excel.

“It’s important to us as food service staff to be able to provide nutritious foods to the kids,” says Pamela Guillory, operations manager for HISD Food Services, “because if they have a healthy meal, they can think better.”

At the facility, food service employees in assembly-line fashion prepare the meals to immediately be shipped for consumption at the district’s 283 schools. Workers in the 25,000-square-foot cold foods area wear winter snowsuits, all in the name of fresh food. The entire process in designed for efficiency, cost savings and, of course, quality.

Watch this Hidden Houston video (above) and see the massive . . . and successful . . . undertaking.

Editor's note: Hidden Houston, an interactive multimedia series, aims to reveal the many things that are unique about the Bayou City and its surrounding areas.

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