To the editor: Chef Michael Kennedy takes over GM food service

Welcome to another year of healthy and nutritious meals for our students. My name is Michael Kennedy, and I am the new food service director here at GMUSD. I grew up in Chester and know Jack Carroll quite well.

I am excited to build upon the terrific program Jack has been running here for so many years. I attended CAES and graduated from GM in 1999. I feel privileged to be coming back here to my Alma Mater and being involved in the community and the health and nutrition of our students.

I am a culinary graduate from New Hampshire College. I was the executive chef at the Inn at Weston for nearly 10 years. And I was the executive chef/co-owner at the Free Range Restaurant in Chester as well as a culinary instructor for The New England Culinary Institute.

I have enjoyed my career as a chef, but now I am excited for this next chapter of my life and getting to know and feed all the amazing children that attend our schools. I look forward to a fun filled year and adding some new and interesting foods into our program.

We encourage all parents to fill out and return the free and reduced meal application in your packet. You may discover you in fact qualify for free meals. When you apply for school meals, you are helping to strengthen school nutrition and bring more federal dollars to our program. If your family does qualify, both breakfast and lunch are covered.

Please remember to keep your child’s lunch account current if you are paying for meals. We do not allow charging of meals. You can track the account activity by going to and setting up your profile, or just call the kitchen anytime and we can give you your balance.

We offer a great breakfast and lunch daily here at GM. Each meal offers many choices. For example, breakfast offers assorted cereals, bagels, yogurt and our ever popular breakfast sandwich. Lunch also has a huge offering of items.

This year I will be adding new items into the rotation from buffalo chicken dip with tortilla chips and Caesar salad, to homemade soups, burritos with fresh cilantro, guacamole, and salsa. My goal is to incorporate more food items made from scratch as the school year goes on. We offer a main meal daily, but there are also many other options to choose from such as cold deli sandwiches, pizza, burgers and fresh salads etc., in effort to give the children some great, healthy choices. We also offer a fresh fruit and veggie bar daily with every meal or as a meal.

Once again this year we will be purchasing local ground beef as much as possible as part of our Farm to School Program. I also purchase from a local group called Food Connects, which deals with many local farms and distributes great local fruits and vegetables. It also assists in training kitchen staff and providing information for students. Food Connects is a great resource for access to fresh, local products. We will continue to work with Grow Compost Vermont and its great composting program, picking up food scraps from all schools and processing them at a nearby facility. This is a great asset to our  developing composting program.

Our Junior Iron Chef Vermont is alive and well and looking forward to another year of competition. The teams were, again, very successful last year and are hoping to win again once more. I will keep everyone informed as we begin practice this fall.

Please feel free to contact me anytime with any questions or concerns. I can be reached
by email at, or by phone 802-875-4249 (kitchen direct line) or on my
cell 802-558-7651.


Michael Kennedy
GM Food Services

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  1. Marilee Spanjian says:

    We wish you the best in your new career. You deserve it.