To the editor: Food scrap collection new at CAES

The Chester-Andover Elementary School Food Service staff is happy to be back in our kitchen here on Main Street after the school’s long closure and our stay at Green Mountain High.

It seemed like the first day of school all over again. Kitchen staff is all back to our normal schedule, although our serving times have changed a bit.

We now have two serving points for the hot meal of the day. We also established another serving station for our cold or sandwich options. This enabled us to move students through the service line more efficiently as requested by staff.

Our famous Salad Bar is also in a separate area, allowing the students to graze from station to station. The students are quite adaptable to changes after the time we spent at the high school.

Speaking of change, we are pleased to announce the introduction of our food scrap collection program. Both CAES and Green Mountain High are harvesting all food scraps to be sent to a composting facility nearby.  We are providing stations in the cafeteria, collection receptacles in our kitchens, dish rooms, common areas and classrooms.

A local company called Grow Compost Vermont collects our food scraps to be composted at their facility. Grow Compost offers training for students and field trips to their facility so students will see firsthand what happens to their collected food scraps. We are working with the students in the cafeteria to assist them in sorting what is on their tray. As the school year progresses the students will be well-aware of how and why we are diverting all food scraps to be composted. I am currently in the design phase of our new food scrap diverting station. I hope to have in place in a month.

We were pleased to have Carolyn Grodinsky of Grow Compost Vermont and Ham Gillett of the Vermont Solid Waste District in the dining room observing our food scrap diversion program. Both were quite impressed with how quickly the students picked up on the routines. This is an attempt on my part to be proactive due to the fact that in another year we will not be allowed to send food scraps to the landfills, according to state mandates.

I would like to remind everyone of our new digital menus program. Just click here to access menus for both of the schools in Chester. You also are able to sign up to receive menus every month via e-mail. The menus are quite informative, with nutritional information.  Any questions please call me at 802-952-9133 or e-mail me at

Jack Carroll
Food Services

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