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Evanston Township High School District 202 receive one of five grants from the School Nutrition Foundation to replace out of date kitchen and cafeteria equipment.

The Hobart Equipment Grant, worth up to $35,000, was gifted as part of the charitable arm of the School Nutrition Association, for ETHS’ school meal program, according to a news release. The foundation started as a sister organization to award funds to those who feed the nations school children while also providing professional development resources including training and research.

“We are excited to add additional Hobart mixers and meat slicers to our kitchen,” said Kimberly Minestra, Nutrition Services Program Director for Evanston Township High School District 202. “This equipment will help the nutrition department reach its goal of providing more semi-scratch made meals.”

The new equipment will also help the operation become more sustainable, allowing them to purchase more items in bulk and cut down on packaging. The department is piloting a composting program with plans to expand it out district wide by next school year. As part of the district’s sustainable practices, nearly 3,000 pounds of organic produce is grown in gardens managed by students.

JoAnne Robinett, the chair of the School Nutrition Foundation, said with nationwide labor shortages continuing, replacing and upgrading equipment provides a solution to streamline operations and ensure students are getting the best quality food.

“We are thankful for Hobart and all of our industry partners for their unwavering support of school nutrition professionals and programs,” Robinett said.