Butler Academy given $25,000 grant

New kitchen equipment at Butler Academy being funded by the USDA includes an electric “Combi Oven” that supports steaming, baking and convection cooking methods and a “Reach-In Heated Cabinet” that allows the holding of several different dishes at safe temperatures while simultaneously preparing other dishes. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Fourth-grade scholar Ellis Beasley’s favorite thing about eating lunch at Butler Academy is that “they most always have a choice I love to eat!” CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Butler Academy has been awarded $25,000 for the purchase and installation of new kitchen equipment needed in Phase II of the school’s recent building expansion.

The highly competitive National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance grant was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and designed to help schools serve healthier meals, improve food safety and support the School Breakfast Program. 

“The expansion of Butler Academy’s kitchen was completed earlier this month, and it’s allowing us to safely serve more meals and offer a greater variety of menu options including food options that are scratch-made using high quality, fresh ingredients,” said Vice President of Operations Venesa Reyes.

“As a mother and educator, I know first-hand that satisfying our scholars’ basic needs to be comfortable and well-fed is crucial to positioning them for success in the classroom,” said Reyes. “Better meals and more options for our scholars to choose from directly translate to improved behavior and increased focus in the classroom, and that quickly leads to improved academic performance. That’s why this grant is about much more than kitchen equipment. It’s a direct investment in our scholars’ education.”

Phase II of Butler Academy’s expansion nearly doubled the size of the school’s kitchen and increased the size of the facility by 20,000 square feet to accommodate the school’s new middle school wing.

“Seeing BA’s creative food services team working with the full complement of professional-grade equipment they need to create delicious meals is exciting,” said Operations Specialist Carlie Lewis. “They are definitely putting Butler’s new full-service kitchen to excellent use!”

Fourth-grader Ellis Beasley knows exactly what he likes about Butler Academy’s dining services. “We get to eat different things, and they almost always have a choice I love to eat!” explained Beasley.

Author: Stephan Drew

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