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Spencer County School District has received a $39,000 grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Governor Steve Beshear announced last week that schools in 46 districts will share $1.77 million to purchase equipment for food service programs.
“These funds will provide school districts with the ability to purchase updated items for their food service operations that will enable them to provide the highest-quality meals for students,” said Beshear. “Good nutrition is crucial to children’s learning ability, and these funds provide Kentucky’s schools with the means to maintain their high standards of food service.”
Spencer’s district will use their portion of the funding to purchase and install a new cooler/freezer combo for the cafeteria at Taylorsville Elementary School. The new additions will not only improve the cafeteria work flow, but will also provide a greater storage capacity.
Superintendent Chuck Adams said that because of the relatively small units, cafeteria staff were using more canned goods. They simply could not store an adequate amount of fresh fruits and vegetables for extended periods of time.
Adams also said the 50-year-old units had long exhausted their usefulness – especially the freezer.
“It’s not air tight. It’s not efficient. They had to prop it up to keep it sealed,” said Adams.
To accommodate the two larger units, an area presently being used as an office and lunch room for cafeteria staff will be utilized.
A new, smaller office for the cafeteria manager will be created where the old cooler now sits, said Brett Beaverson, director of operations.
“It will make the cafeteria more efficient,” said Beaverson.
Plans also include adding a window so the manager can easily see the serving line area.
CNT Design and Equipment of Shelbyville will be suppling and installing the new units.
Adams said he anticipated receiving the funds by mid-September and to have the new cooler/freezer in use by early fall.
Grant applications were scored by members of the Education and Nutrition Committees of the Kentucky School Nutrition Association. Funding amounts for each school were based on the equipment descriptions and estimated costs identified on the Priority Listing submitted with the applications.
The awards are contingent upon meeting all programmatic and reporting requirements of ARRA. School food authorities are required to follow all federal, state and local procurement laws when purchasing equipment under these grants.
Other neighboring communities to receive similar grants were: Bardstown Independent with $40,000; Oldham County with $4,400; and Shelby County with $26,500.