Mount Abe eyes food plan

BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union High School board on Tuesday decided to solicit bids from outside food service vendors as the board continues to weigh its choices for overhauling the school’s cafeteria system.
Board chair Lanny Smith said that sending the project out to bid doesn’t mean the board will necessarily choose an outside company to run the school’s food service program, but simply leaves that option open for next year.
“We would still like to run our own program if we can,” Smith said. “(But) we don’t want to close up any options. If we can’t put (our own program) together this year, we’ve got to have an option. We need to feed those kids.”
The board has been discussing alternatives to the school’s current food service program since February. The motivation for changing the status quo is money: For the current school year, as well as next year, Mount Abe has budgeted just more than $94,000 to subsidize the school lunch program, which also pulls in funding from state and federal sources, as well as revenues from students who pay for the food. Those revenues don’t cover the cost of running the program, though.
A committee is still investigating other options for the high school. One choice would be to bring in an outside, for-profit company. Several schools in the county use these vendors to provide in-school food service.
Another choice the board might consider would be a district-wide food service program that could operate more efficiently than the school’s current system.
Reporter Kathryn Flagg is at [email protected].

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