Education department awards school lunch grantsby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota's Education Department has awarded grants to more than six dozen schools and groups so they can buy equipment for their lunch programs.
The federal stimulus package, which became law in February, includes $100 million for schools and other groups in the National School Lunch Program to buy equipment. Minnesota's share is $1.27 million.
Projects being funded range from a $5,100 salad bar for the Circle of Life school in White Earth, to a $235,000 'cook-n-chill' system for Minneapolis. Other grants will pay for commercial dishwashers, ovens, and refrigerators for 77 schools and groups. They'll have to buy the items first and get reimbursed later.
Other grants will pay for commercial-sized dishwashers, ovens, and refrigerators for 77 schools and groups. They'll have to buy the items first and get reimbursed later.
The stimulus law requires the grants to go to districts where more than half of the students are on free and reduced lunch, and where the new equipment would help improve the quality or delivery of school food.
Most education stimulus will be awarded based on pre-set formulas. But these food equipment grants were competitively bid - the first such competitive funds that Minnesota's education department has announced.
To see a complete list of funded grants, click here