by Johannes Brann
Mrs. Janice Graves, the Director of Transportation and Food Service at the Northeast Vernon County R-1 School District has announced receipt of six grants totaling $183,450.
“The district just created this position and I moved from being high school secretary into this job on July 1,” explained Graves. “The superintendent asked me to find and apply for grants to strengthen our food service program; the kitchens at our elementary school in Schell City and high school in Walker have really old equipment but our budget is really tight.”
Graves scoured online as well as networked with others to find six and then spent many days to complete the applications.
The $4,700 “No Kids Hungry” Grant will fund the purchase of a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer for the elementary as well as a “conveyor” toaster for each school.
The elementary school is receiving a $7,000 fruit and vegetable grant so children may have fresh produce outside of breakfast and lunch.
A $7,800 joint United States Department of Agriculture and United States Department of Defense grant for the purchase of fresh produce for meals at both the elementary as well as high school.
A $15,000 Supply Chain Assistance Grant which will be used for the purchase of meat products from an area vendor.
The $24,700 equipment grant will be used for kitchen equipment at the high school; the elementary school received this once per decade grant to purchase its walk-in freezer.
And finally, the $124250 Healthy Incentive Grant which will, in part, fund a new 72-inch stove with a 36-inch grill at each school. Some $27,000 will be used to purchase small equipment to make scratch cooking easier. Agriculture teacher Brett Neil will utilize a portion of this grant to produce a hydroponic garden in the high school’s greenhouse. This last grant was only one of four awarded in Missouri.
Said graves, “I know we are dreaming big but being awarded these six grants totaling $183,450 was a dream just three months ago!”