Powering Food Security

Auburn School District Electrifies Summer Food Program

The Opportunity

Auburn School District in Western Washington has been on the leading edge of partnering with local farms so that fresh, healthy, and diverse food options are part of every meal… 42,940 meals in 2022! A crucial part of ensuring access to more children is a fleet of 11 Summer Lunch Vans that brings meals to where they are needed most.

Client Requirements

Maintain food quality


Minimize food waste


Enhance workplace ergonomics


Ensure highest food safety standards in any weather

The Solution

Auburn School District purchased a small battery system in early 2022 to run a pilot program with one of the Summer Lunch Vans. They also purchased two solar panels and partnered with a local installer to provide a clean, renewable charging source for the batteries. The results were better than expected. Food kept in a continuously cold or hot environment (depending on the meal) allowed the Food Service Team to provide better quality meals throughout the day and throughout the summer. Environmental consistency also ensured food safety standards were maintained, drastically reducing spoilage and food waste.

In addition to offering better meals, deploying a battery system turned out to be a boon for employees too. Without having to haul around large cooler bags full of ice from site to site to keep meals at temperature, the daily wear and tear of labor were minimized. And it allowed a single employee to handle setup and breakdown at each site instead of two.

Overall, a Joule Case battery system allowed the Auburn School District to improve quality, reduce costs, and minimize the carbon footprint of its Summer Food Program.

“With the two solar panels, over the course of the summer program, we never had to charge our battery from shore power. And this is the Seattle area! This pilot was very successful, and we plan on converting our entire fleet over to battery systems in the coming years.”
Ben Atkinson, Assistant Director, Child Nutrition/Dietitian, Auburn School District.
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