Sunday, August 23, 2009

Going Back to School

What does that mean to me? It means the lazy days of summer are over and back to full-time work as a School Food Service Manager in a K-12 school. That's me holding the largest bowl in my hands. My staff and sub were all present when this photo was taken this past spring.

I'm particularly excited about this school year because it will be the first year we will not have to share our cafeteria space with grade school PE classes. No longer will we have to haul in tables and all pertinent cafeteria equipment in a "10 Minute Sprint", as it had not so affectionately become known as. And we will no longer need to clear the room in a repeat demonstration at the conclusion of lunch.

Over the past year the school has been in the middle of construction of a new gymnasium and school beautification project. An Open House/Picnic and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new gymnasium will take place this week. My staff and I are asked to cater the annual Open House which typically is held 2 weeks after the school year begins. It is particularly exciting this year that the Open House is taking place before the first day of school so we aren't rushed to prepare the food. Held two weeks into the school year means we have to prepare school meals and Open House food at the same time, resulting in several hectic days.

In early July I was excited to learn the application submitted in early June for Federal Stimulus money to purchase kitchen equipment had been granted. At the time the application had been submitted I didn't think we stood a chance of becoming a recipient as this was a highly competitive grant and I was asking for almost 1/5 of the monies that came to Vermont to install a new walk-in refrigerator/freezer unit. The school was not required to come up with matching funds for this grant, which was a great plus. With this grant money we were able to solve many of the underlying issues with water leaking into the lower level of the school, repair some structural damage, address some mold issues, and at the same time install an energy efficient unit that is state of the art with sprinklers and safety features that prevent anyone from being locked inside.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho it's back to work I go....
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