Director of Food Service Andrew Hutchins, left, gives his report to the RSU 9 board of directors on Tuesday, Aug. 22. In his report, Hutchins stated that the summer meals program was a big success, especially with keeping employees working through the summer. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

FARMINGTON — Director of Food Services Andrew Hutchins reported the completion of the renovation to the lunchroom at Cascade Brooke School to the Regional School Unit 9 board of directors on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

“I don’t know if anyone has stopped in to see it, but it really made that cafeteria pop,” Hutchins told the board.

According to Hutchins’ report, over the summer they were able to give the cafeteria a fresh coat of paint, new graphics, and new furniture. In the kitchen, the serving line was upgraded along with adding a milk cooler, and replacing an old convection oven and baker’s table. A new covered outdoor dining area was also added.

These changes will make a much more vibrant cafeteria and help to increase the speed in which students will be able to get their meal, giving them more time to eat, Hutchins stated in his report.

According to Hutchins, the project was funded with excess funds from the school nutrition program and the estimated cost of the project was $128,000. Hutchins also shared that the new graphics were free of charge.

“The company that did the middle school a couple years ago owed me a big favor because they were having supply chain issues and they were a little late getting stuff to me,” Hutchins shared. “They promised they’d make it up to me, and they did, big time.”


In his report, Hutchins gave special thanks to David Cardinale, Mike Turner, and Lenny Barden.

A collage of the Cascade Brook School lunchroom after the completed renovations. Submitted Photo

Hutchins also reported the success of their summer meals program, giving out approximately 14,035 meals between Monday, June 26, and Friday, Aug. 4. He estimated $62,000 in revenue for this summer, but his biggest concern was staff retention.

“It helps to support the overall program, but more importantly, it helps keep our people employed through the summer,” Hutchins shared. “It keeps them from not having to look for another job and potentially not coming back in the fall, so the benefits in terms of retention of our staff is huge.”

Hutchins gave a special thanks to Carla Fitch, Misty Carrow, Amanda Barry, Cindy Fortier, Katrina Ranger, Ellen Desper, Sarah Couture, Rachel Simonds, and Kathy Childs for their hard work in keeping the summer meals program running smoothly.

In his Superintendent’s report, Superintendent Christian Elkington reported the Food Service program had received a visit from Maine Department of Education in July, where they performed a Summer Food Service Program Administrative Review.

The program passed ‘with flying colors’ and will not need to undergo another review for three years, according to Hutchins. In the report, it is stated in commendations that paperwork and documentation were in excellent order and Hutchins is doing a great job overseeing the program.

“So we continue to have one of, if not the best program in the state,” Elkington stated. “Thank you to all the people that made that happen.”

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