FARMINGTON – At the RSU 9 Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday night, Director of Food Services Andrew Hutchins provided the board with a Food Services update along with new information surrounding the Summer Food Service Program.
The State of Maine Legislature made school lunch and breakfast during the school year one of their legislative priorities two years ago; however, this excluded summer meals for students. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was then created to ensure that children in low-income areas continue to receive meals during school vacations when they do not have access to school lunch or breakfast.
Using census data, Hutchins worked to qualify Mt. Blue High School and the Mallett School for SFSP, which is where summer school is held. This will allow the schools to serve all children breakfast and lunch for free again this year. According to the Superintendent’s Report, there will also be a mobile route in Wilton with strategic stops near lunchtime at parks and other places where children gather to provide students with meals.
Hutchins’ Food Service update states that the revenues for the 2022-2023 school year are expected to exceed $1.7 million, with these revenues coming from school meal reimbursements, cash sales to students and staff, and catering. The revenue from five years ago was a total of $872,572, resulting in an increase of 102% when compared with the 2022-23 school year.
Food Services have also managed to maintain food costs at 31% despite an overall increase in revenue. This has allowed for more maintenance changes in the kitchen, including the replacement of major pieces of equipment that were failing along with the replacement of many small wares to keep operations running smoothly.
“Even with the incredible increase in revenue, the district’s talented school nutrition professionals have maintained a positive, clean, and efficient workplace while keeping labor costs below 40%,” Hutchins writes.
This meeting was recorded by Mt. Blue TV and is available for viewing online at MtBlueTV.org