Belleville District 118’s food service department is getting a $22,000 boost.
Steve Ebbesmeyer, food service director for the district, said it received a competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The money will go toward a new oven, freezer and five mobile food warmers to keep meals hot.
“Several schools do not even have a warming unit. They never had one,” Ebbesmeyer said. “We’ve always worked through it, but there came an opportunity with this grant.”
The District 118 School Board approved the $21,519 equipment purchases Tuesday night.
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District 118 serves nearly 4,000 students in 11 schools. Ebbesmeyer said the district’s food service cooperative provides meals to 30 schools. Last year, it served almost 1.6 million meals, he said.
The district voted in May to add Belleville District 201’s two high schools to that cooperative starting next school year.
Ebbesmeyer said food service staff are looking forward to working with District 201 to “make a better program.”
“I think there’s a lot of benefits to working with 201,” he said. “One of the big things is longer term, we’ll hopefully see some more purchasing power.”
Ebbesmeyer said adding more schools has slightly decreased District 118’s supply costs because it ordered more food in bulk.
But both districts believe they’ll save money as a result of the partnership. For District 201, officials say the cost of providing meals will be cheaper than working with a private company. Its estimated savings are between $200,000 and $250,000 annually.
In other business
Board members also voted Tuesday to approve the following:
▪ An increase in hourly workers’ pay starting next school year.
▪ A 10-cent increase in lunch fees from $1.90 to $2 starting next school year. Assistant Superintendent Ryan Boike said the change was in an effort to secure federal reimbursements.
▪ Hiring special education teacher Kimberly Clay and physical education teacher Abraham Pruett.
▪ An agreement with PASS Security LLC for CCTV upgrades not to exceed $45,000.
The Belleville District 118 School Board next meets at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at 105 W. A St. in Belleville.
At a glance
Belleville District 118 School Board members voted Tuesday to make the following pay rate changes:
Hourly rates 2016-17
Hourly rates 2017-18
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