Wednesday July 6, 2011

GUILFORD -- The Guilford School Board agreed upon a nutrition bid from Cafe Services, Inc. for the next academic year.

During a special Tuesday night meeting, the board accepted the recommendation of Guilford Central School Principal John Gagnon to change to the new vendor after the district received two bids for the food services.

Gagnon, along with administrative members of the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union, suggested the Londonderry, N.H.company as a better alternative for Guilford. Not only was Cafe Services’ bid lower than the present vendor (Abbey Food Service Group of Enosburg Falls), the company has a good track record in the supervisory union, the principal added.

Other districts in the supervisory union, such as Brattleboro Union High School, Brattleboro Area Middle School and Dummerston School, use the Cafe Services. Board members and Gagnon praised both companies for their participation in farm-to-school programs to bring more locally grown products into cafeterias.

The figures for each bid were not made public.

On another matter, a Guilford-based organization known as the Sisterhood has proposed a special school-to-work program to have students in town provide services to widows and seniors in exchange for donations and community hours.


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Marge Wocell-Kingsley of The Sisterhood, a group of more than a dozen widows who meet monthly, said many elderly residents in Guilford have trouble completing some physical tasks (such as yard work) and asked the school board if the students could become involved in assisting them. She proposed holding cleanup sessions for the Guilford pupils and, in return, the benefiting members would offer donations to the 8th grade field trip.

"I think it would be a really great thing. It would help a lot of people," she said. "I was having a hard time maintaining my household Š I just thought it would be really advantageous for the kids to become involved."

A program such as this would take the stress out of the lives of many seniors in town, Wocell-Kingsley added.

Gagnon said the proposal was an intriguing idea and he would discuss it with the 8th grade parents group, which currently assists in fundraising for the trip. Since students cannot receive community service hours until they graduate from 8th grade, he told the board he will contact the BUHS coordinator to see if town students could pursue this program.

At this point, Guilford school officials would begin discussions with BUHS once the fall semester begins.

Guilford residents interested in speaking with Wocell-Kingsley for more information about the proposal may contact her at 802-257-7435.

Chris Garofolo can be reached at cgarofolo@reformer.com or 802-254-2311 ext. 275.