Neat use of technology for lunch at the Baldwin

Students at the Baldwin School are the first in Cambridge to use photo technology to pay for school breakfast and lunch.
Jack Mingle, Food Services Director for CPS, implemented the computer program this week. Here’s how it works: Students pick up their lunch – lets say a chicken salad sandwich, an orange for dessert and an apple juice – and when they get to the register, they need only to say their name. The cashier types the name into the computer and a photo of the child appears on the screen. The cashier confirms the photo id, hits a button on the screen, and approves the purchase.
There is no digging for dollar bills or loose change, no worries about lost lunch money or the time consuming task of sliding a lunch card through a scanner, as the purchase is recorded with the push of a button.
Mr. Mingle said the technology really speeds up the purchase.
“The computer program so far seems to be saving time and moving students through the checkout line more quickly, allowing students more time to eat and more time enjoy their lunch break,” he said.
The student’s family has either prepaid or is billed at the end of the month for the student’s meals.
It cuts down on a lot of paperwork and time for us as well, ” said Mr. Mingle. “If the pilot program proves success, it will be expanded to all schools.”


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