For many NYC school children, lunch in their public school cafeteria may be the only nutritious, hot meal they receive each day. The importance of this meal on mental wellbeing has been reenforced, as schools closed due to COVID-19 restrictions but continued to deliver meals to students in need. At odds with the essential nature of this issue is the fact that providing a hot meal through a commercial kitchen has been identified as a barrier for designers to drastically reduce energy consumption in school facilities.

This panel seeks to discuss how designers can balance the need for energy consumption reductions in schools while supporting nutrition and mental health for students through programming, policy, and design.

Organized by
AIANY Architecture for Education Committee