BISD wins grant for lunchroom equipment

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The Beaumont Independent School District was one of four winners of a grant program aimed at awarding equipment for school meal programs, according to a news release April 9.

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), the charitable arm of the non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA), announced Tiffany Eckenrod, Beaumont ISD director of child nutrition as one of four winners of its expanded 2020 Equipment Grant Program. Each professional is each being awarded up to $65,000 worth of equipment to benefit their school meal programs through the Winston Equipment Grant, the Vulcan/Hobart Equipment Grant and two Collection Grants, comprised of donations from multiple equipment companies. SNA members applied for equipment grants in October 2019 for an opportunity to upgrade or improve their kitchen and cafeteria operations to benefit the students they serve. 

The equipment companies will consult with award recipients to customize the awarded equipment based on their unique needs and opportunities to improve kitchens and school meal service programs. Equipment could include ovens, mixers, slicers, food processors, coolers and other refrigeration, holding cabinets, dish machines, package sealing equipment, steamers, insulated tote bags and more.  

“School meal programs are experiencing unprecedented impacts of the current COVID-19 school closures, even as they work to continue emergency feeding programs to support students. These grants provide much-needed resources to update kitchen and food service equipment for long-term benefits when schools return to more typical meal service,” said Patricia Montague, CAE, CEO of SNA/SNF. 

Tiffany Eckenrod, Director of Child Nutrition for Beaumont ISD in Beaumont, TX - Winston Equipment Grant Recipient 

An increase in student enrollment at two school campuses has forced the already aging kitchen equipment in Eckenrod's district to work overtime. Many pieces of equipment can no longer be replaced or fixed due to age. In order to continue providing quality food items to her students, in much larger numbers than before, Eckenrod hopes to use this grant to replace equipment and improve meal production efficiency.  

About School Nutrition Foundation: 

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) is an s501(c) 3, sister organization of the School Nutrition Association, awards grants and scholarships to the men and women who feed the nation’s school children.  The 2020 SNF Equipment Grants are made possible by the generous contributions of ITW/FEG/, Winston Foodservice, CMA Dish Machines, Cooler Management, Eloma North America, Innoseal Systems, Jackson Warewashing Systems, Inc., Sterno Delivery, Unox, and Unified Brands.

About School Nutrition Association:

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. For more information on school meals, visit  www.SchoolNutrition.org/SchoolMeals