Several schools around the state - 18 to be exact - will soon be looking for new kitchen equipment thanks to the Idaho State Department of Education (ISDOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Those 18 schools will receive a combined $120,000 for kitchen upgrades under a program designed to improve school lunch programs in Idaho.
Schools had to apply for money from IDSOE and were in competition with other schools around Idaho for funding. Officials with IDSOE used several factors to determine which schools would receive money, but schools that had high numbers of students on free- or reduced-lunch were given top priority during the evaluation process. Officials also looked at each school's existing equipment and assessed the level of need for replacement of equipments for their kitchens. IDSOE also took into account equipment that could have posed fire hazards for schools, such as deep-fat fryers, when evaluating the need of each kitchen.
According to the IDSOE blog, schools will now look to purchase mixers, table, ovens, freezers, and dishwashers, among other things.
Here is a full list of schools that received money under the grant program:
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said the money is vital in the department's effort to provide students with healthier meals. “As we strive to provide healthier foods to our students during the school day, it is also important to ensure our school kitchens and cafeterias have safe, quality equipment,” Luna said.