Cafeterias Go Digital

We’re very excited to be rolling out a significant upgrade to the Penn Manor Cafeterias. Over the next few weeks, building lunch lines will be outfitted with new Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals. The system is called “Nutrikids” and will be used by students and staff for both breakfast and lunch. For many of our buildings, the Nutrikids Point-of-Sale terminal will be the first time a computerized register system will be utilized at the lunch lines. As of March 1st, 6 elementary buildings have received the new Point-of-Sale terminals and have successfully implemented the new system.

Nutrikids also heralds a new tool for serving line identification: biometric scanners. The biometric system consists of a fingerprint reader that identifies each student as he/she passes through the serving line. Once the child is identified, the biometric software passes the student’s identification to the serving line software and connects the student to their account information.  An advantage to the Biometric input system is that it does not require students to carry a lunch card or memorize a PIN number- the student simply scans a finger and his/her account is automatically debited.  In preparation for the Nutrikids secondary building roll-out later this month, Middle and High Schools students are currently registering and enrolling into the Nutrikids system via the fingerprint scanners.

We believe the biometric scanners will provide a fast and efficient experience at the serving lines. We also take student security very seriously and are confident that the Nutrikids biometic system provides a high-degree of privacy. The biometric software utilizes AES 128-bit encryption to store data. In addition, an image of the fingerprint is not saved in any database at any time. Instead, the biometric software encodes and stores the fingerprint as a calculated number. The combination of these techniques makes the biometric database extremely secure and prevents intruders from accessing images of student fingerprints. However, if a family is still uncomfortable with the biometric system, the family may sign an opt-out letter indicating that the student may not utilize the finger scanner at the serving line.

The next phase of the Nutrikds roll-out will be the parent portal. Stating this fall, parents will have access to a special website where they may monitor lunch balances and view student meal information. Watch for more information on the new parent portal later this summer.