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Food and Drink

Leland & Gray cafeteria gets a makeover

TOWNSHEND—The cafeteria at Leland & Gray Union Middle & High School has a new, back-to-school style.

This summer, when students went on break, the school’s Seed2Tray nutrition program team went to work.

Food Service Director Chris Parker wanted to create a fun space for the school community to enjoy their meals for the 2019-20 school year. First, they gave their kitchens a deep cleaning, and several coats of paint. Then, they turned their focus to the Leland & Gray cafeteria.

“The cafeteria had spent years looking grey and dull, so we recruited the art teacher, Suzanne Paugh from Newbrook Elementary,” Parker said in a news release. “She had been the leader on our makeover at Newbrook last year, and I knew I needed her for this project.”

Paugh worked with the incoming fifth- and sixth-graders to achieve an industrial/graffiti art feel — and she said the kids were very excited to be a part of a project that would have such an impact on their school.

The students created the signs for each station, then painted them before Parker took them back to his woodshop for the finishing touches.

The Seed2Tray team worked hard throughout the school year. They applied for a mini grant through Food Connects for a new salad bar, generously donated by Entera Catering.

The salad bar allows the team to provide a wider variety of options for students to make salads. Parker also worked hard to ensure that universal meals — free lunch for every student — was added to the budget for the 2019-20 school year for the entire school district.

“We were excited to see our students and show them their new cafeteria,” Parker said. “They are now welcomed by a new hot line, a new salad bar, a pizza bar, and a sandwich bar complete with a panini press. The best part is that every student in Jamaica Village, Townshend, Leland & Gray, and NewBrook schools will eat for free.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #535 (Wednesday, November 6, 2019).

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