Kitchen help causing financial crunch for W-MU hot-lunch fund
By TRISHA PHELPS
Mt. Pleasant News
WINFIELD — Winfield-Mt. Union students are helping out in the school cafeteria to get more silver cord hours, and that is causing a bit of a financial crunch, reported head cook Tracy Hartman.
Hartman would like to take a few students to McDonalds on Nov. 25 for a tip-night fund-raiser to help offset the cost of having extra hands in the kitchen, which received board approval.
“The issue we are having is that we are using more disposable items such as head covers and gloves,” Hartman said during the W-MU school board meeting last night. “To get students involved, we started out by offering them a bag of chips – which costs me 23 cents – and a slushie – which costs me 26 cents.
“A lot of times the kids don’t want a slushie or chips, they just want to help out,” she continued. “But they are still going to need to use the head-covers and gloves. If we have 12 volunteers in there for an hour for one day, it is going to cost us about $7.”
Hartman went on to explain to the board a fund-raiser she would like approved includes taking would take four students and herself and another cook, Raja Gideon, to McDonalds to work clearing tables and setting out tip jars. She is hoping that this fund-raiser offsets the expenses of the disposable items so that she can continue to have the student volunteers.
“We would just be wiping tables, throwing trash away,” explained Hartman. “It is kind of like the fund-raiser at another restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, but I know for me personally if I were to go to the other place it would cost me about $50 for my family, but with McDonalds a family could go get ice-cream and still feel like they were helping with the fund-raiser for a whole lot less money.”
Hartman noted that having the students working on their silver cord hours in the kitchen has been a major asset, and that the students help get things done that maybe wouldn’t otherwise have happened.
“Our communication with these kids is great,” Hartman said. “The dishwasher was down today and we were waiting on the repairman and the entire class washed dishes by hand and wanted nothing for it. I honestly don’t think that would have happened before.”
She also explained that students started helping out in the kitchen in September when the kitchen staff wanted to offer chef salads to the middle and high school students, but that they did not have enough time to get it done.
“We opened it up for volunteers to come in and when they came in we got feedback and it really worked out well,” said Hartman.
“I would echo exactly what Tracy (Hartman) said,” remarked Pat Coen, W-MU superintendent. “The students are doing a phenomenal job of getting in there and the environment in the dinning hall has improved and that is a credit to Tracy.”
The board also:
• Reviewed policy of licensed employee termination of employment, which was approved with no changes.
• Agreed to table setting a date for the winter work session due to two school board members, Robin Therme and John Vantiger, being absent.
• Approved the resignation of Andrew Liles as custodian.
The next W-MU school board meeting will be Dec. 11, at 6 p.m. in the school media center.