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AISD receives grant for centralized kitchen pilot

Thursday, July 19, 2018 by Katy McElroy

The Austin Independent School District prides itself on a focus on nutritious meals, and it now has received funding to pilot a small-scale, centralized kitchen and distribution center in order to create a plan to implement this focus throughout the district. The pilot kitchen project, made possible by a grant of $550,000 from the St. David’s Foundation, will begin in the fall at McCallum High School. The grant provides funding for trained culinary staff and new kitchen equipment to be brought to the school, allowing for the creation of an expanded menu with made-from-scratch items, which will be distributed to the district’s after-school programs. “We are so excited to be receiving this support from the St. David’s Foundation,” said Anneliese Tanner, AISD’s executive director of food services and warehouse operations. “This will change the way we are able to serve our students healthy meals throughout the district. This has been a priority for me since arriving at the district and I couldn’t be more thrilled to begin planning for a centralized kitchen and distribution center to serve Austin’s children.” The grant will also make it possible for Nutrition and Food Services staff to visit other school districts with successful centralized kitchen systems in place. The district intends for the pilot to inform the creation of a master plan for a Central Production Kitchen, which would then use the McCallum kitchen as a satellite distribution center.

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