Southington schools earn $5K grant for healthy eating initiatives

Southington schools were presented a check from the NE Dairy and Food Council for a recent grant. From left, Southington schools nutrition director Nya Welinsky, a member of NE Dairy and Food Council, Southington schools business and finance director Sherri DiNello, and Superintendent Timothy Connellan.

Southington schools were presented a check from the NE Dairy and Food Council for a recent grant. From left, Southington schools nutrition director Nya Welinsky, a member of NE Dairy and Food Council, Southington schools business and finance director Sherri DiNello, and Superintendent Timothy Connellan.

By JEN CARDINES

STAFF WRITER

Southington Public Schools received a $4,541 grant from the New England Dairy and Food Council to be used for kitchen equipment to enhance school nutrition. Sherri DiNello, Southington schools’ business and finance director,  championed the grant at the Oct. 6 BOE meeting.

“The grant is written to specifically benefit the alternative education program,” DiNello said, “so that food could be safely transported from Derynoski school to the program with insulated carriers to keep hot food hot, and cold food cold.”

The grant was part of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, and the BOE will be using the funds to purchase a new refrigerator, a blender that will allow smoothies to be offered, and insulated cooler bags for transportation of food to Southington’s alternative education program.  Some money will go to Southington High School to add a new refrigerator to their food services.

The town is one of many districts nationwide to receive funds made available by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Dairy Council.  The program is designed to initiate healthy and active lifestyles, providing nutritious foods and having students remain active at least 60 minutes a day.

“These grants are part of our ongoing commitment to give states and schools the additional resources they need,” Kurt Messner, the Northeast Regional Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service said in a press release. “Locally, these grants will ensure students in Hartford County have access to nutritious meals.”

“These funds will enable our district to provide our students with access to a variety of school breakfast options including milk, yogurt and fruit smoothies,” said Nya Welinsky, Southington Public Schools’ nutrition director in the release.  “We are thrilled to have been chosen.”

School Superintendent Timothy Connellan, DiNello, and Welinsky met with a member of NE Dairy and Food Council and were presented with the check.

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