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Cafeteria cuisine comes home

Voorheesville school chef offering dinners to go as a ‘fun’ way to boost revenue

— “Our participation rate dropped almost in half,” Mulligan said, “but what really got me was the amount of food these kids were throwing out that we were forced to put on their plates. … It was absolutely killing me.”

To prove his point to district administrators and the board, he saved up food waste from one day. In fruit alone, students passed up three boxes worth of food that could not be donated and was worth $180.

Ironically, Mulligan said, “When we are not forcing kids to take the fruit, they take the fruit.”

Mulligan said getting older students at high school to eat certain meals is difficult because their eating habits and patterns are more established. For elementary school students, Mulligan tries to “stick close” to the federal guidelines.

The meals he chose were things he likes to cook and he “threw them on there to see how they would go.” So far, the program appears to be going well.

“The first night was totally a hit,” he said. “I thought we were going to do 25 meals to go for (four people) and we did 60-something. It was totally shocking to me and I was very pleased with everything, and I hope the community is pleased with what they got.”

Meals to go are offered in serving sizes for two people for $15 and four people for $25. Reservations are required and must be made 24 hours in advance.

Reservations and payments can be arranged by contacting Christy Rivenburg at crivenburg@voorheesville.org or through www.instantseats.com. At InstantSeats, type “Voorheesville” in the search bar at the top left corner of the website. There is a website service charge of $2.38 for a meal for four and $1.89 for a two-person meal.

Mulligan said people with bad memories of school cafeteria food should give the meals a chance before passing judgment.

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