With more school districts opting to begin the year using online other remote education practices, food pantries and other hunger support agencies are looking at ways to be sure that families eligible for meals will get them. For instance, Chicago Public Schools will continue to offer grab-and-go meals to students. Other major urban districts are making the same steps as are a growing number of suburban and rural districts.
There are efforts in progress (including the proposed Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act) to expand eligibility so that organizations could spend more time providing the food resources without spending additional time verifying student elibility.
This will be another opportunity for packaging companies. While in-school meals are often served in disposable dinnerware with plastic flatware, a growing number of schools had been opting for reusable options that reduce the amount of paper and plastic waste generated. The pandemic put a pause in that effort as school meals must now more closely resemble restaurant carryout. Key products will include clamshell containers, paper wraps, disposable flatware, and bags. Some districts may look to increase confidence in the hygiene of the meals by using tamper-evident food packaging options as well.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in Packaging and in our sister publisher Packaged Facts’ Food & Beverage research catalog. Freedonia also offers an expanding catalog of COVID-19 Economic Impact reports, which highlight how various industries are responding to the current crisis with a comparison to recent recessions. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.