The problem is, Helene says many things that contrast with my experiences and even - I'll go out on a limb - mislead future initiatives.
First off, cost IS a major factor. Saying that sourcing more organic and local produce will not significantly impact your bottom line is overly simplistic. A Sodexo chef of a major university recently told me that his bottom line was suffering due to a switch to local produce until he moved from an 'All You Care to Eat' (I guess all you can eat is no longer PC) to single plate servings. But he had to think about how to restructure his pricing in order to reduce costs.
Next up meat. That is really cool that BAMCO chefs are butchering their own cuts. James Beard award winning chef Maria Hines recently talked about working with custom butchers to select atypical (and often less expensive) cuts in order to cut costs while delivering premium local product.
Yes, volume can be an impediment to sourcing local produce. However: big companies like SYSCO are starting to source locally (this is for real, local produce from select small, values-based farms); mid sized companies like OGC and Charlies have been offering traceable local product for years; and small mission driven companies like Growers Collaborative and Red Tomato are sourcing exclusively from local growers. The key to volume and consistency is to use a distributor that has small- AND mid-sized local growers. The mid-size growers set the bar for food safety while providing excellence in cold chain management and delivery.
In regards to "School schedules are an ironic obstacle." she is dead on. Ironic as hell.