Stimulus funds used for school nutrition programs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Stimulus funds used for school nutrition programs

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - The Cedar Rapids Community School District Food and Nutrition Department was recently awarded a $75,600 grant as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding provides a one-time appropriation of $100,000,000 for equipment assistance for school nutrition programs. In Iowa, 241 school districts submitted applications requesting over $6.8 million. The state received $823,633 for distribution.

Grant awards were based on demonstrated need for equipment assistance with a priority given to schools having a 50% or higher free or reduced lunch population. The District submitted 14 grant applications and was awarded 9. The selected schools will purchase the following equipment using the funds:

Cleveland Elementary Steamer

Garfield Elementary Steamer

Hoover Elementary Steamer

Johnson Elementary Dishwasher

Monroe Elementary Steamer and Dishwasher

Polk Elementary Steamer

Van Buren Elementary Steamer

Wilson Elementary/Middle Steamer

"The new equipment helps the Food and Nutrition Department achieve nutritional goals," explained Suzy Ketelsen, Manager. "For example, preparing foods in a steamer allows for more nutrient retention because water soluble vitamins and minerals are lost when preparing food on a range. Cooking times are shorter allowing staff to batch cook improving the quality and response time and eliminate the need to hold foods for extended periods."

Energy efficiency was a top priority in all cases; all equipment considered required an Energy Star Rating. The model of steamer requested, compared to others, uses considerably less water. Steamers require less energy to operate than convection ovens, ranges or kettles.

The new equipment will be competitively bid and in operation by late fall.

Online Producer: Jason Mortvedt

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