Grant for school milk coolers

Clarkston schools Nutrition Services Director Marla Ernst and SPE PE Teacher Tresa Reneaud are happy to receive a grant from the Michigan dairy industry. Photo by Jessica Steeley

BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Clarkston Community Schools Meals Program was recently awarded a $9,300 grant from the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) to purchase milk coolers.
Springfield Plains Elementary Physical Education Teacher Tresa Reneaud wrote and submitted the grant to UDIM.
“I saw that one for the food service and then just figured out what they’re asking and are we eligible and is there a need, and there’s always a need,” she said of writing the grant.
The grant helped purchase four milk coolers for cafeterias at Andersonville, Clarkston and North Sashabaw elementary schools.
“We attempted for almost all the schools, but those were the three chosen based on their needs,” Reneaud said.
North Sashabaw will be getting a regular cooler and a smaller one and Andersonville will get a large cooler, capable of holding 16 crates of milk cartons.
“When the kitchen staff learned they were getting new milk coolers, the expression on their faces were priceless, like hitting the lottery,” CCS Nutrition Services Director Marla Ernst said. “We’re very excited because those three schools really need the new equipment.”
Ernst said kitchen staff at these schools have been working with old milk coolers, which are costly to repair and often freeze milk cartons.
“We’re having to fix them on a regular basis, and so we’re spending money putting a band-aid on the problem,” Ernst added.
The new coolers will make it easier and more affordable for the schools to continue to offer milk. Ernst said the coolers will speed up lunch lines and regulate the temperature of the milk cartons.
“No one likes warm milk,” Reneaud joked. Ernst said the new coolers have been ordered and are expected to arrive after a few weeks.
Reneaud has been writing grants for CCS for 10 years and said UDIM is a great partner as they’re supportive of getting proper equipment for schools and children.
“The money slated for the grant is actually coming from the dairy farmers in Michigan,” Ernst explained. “The dairy farmers in Michigan have a fee they pay to belong to that, to be a member, and that’s what the money is used for, for grants and for helping out school districts across the state of Michigan.”
Fuel Up To Play 60 is a wellness program sponsored by the United Dairy Industry and the National Football League geared towards improving the nutrition and physical activity of students at their school.