Food Service Department workers give back to the community

group of food service workers pose for a photo in the school district's kitchen

In honor of National School Lunch Week, Fonda-Fultonville would like to recognize its Food Service Department. Its dedicated staff members work hard both in and out of the kitchen to prepare and serve delicious and nutritious food, and to give back to the greater community.

The department is staffed by Chartwells employees, but “we very much feel like we’re apart of this school district, and it is very important to us,” said Vicki Palmer. She is the food service director for Chartwells at Fonda-Fultonville.

There is no better evidence of Palmer’s statement than the charitable giving by the department’s members. Since March 2016, they have each given monetary contributions to participate in Dress Down Fridays. The funds are donated every month to a local organization or an individual in need.

In a year and a half, this small group of employees has raised approximately $1,700. The employees are Palmer, Jo-An LaPan, Brittany Bailey, Jill Gulick, Betsy Peck, Melodie Lemiszki, Valerie Brown, Heather Stephens, Carol Paxton, Tonya Spicci, Heather Jacobs and Fonda-Fultonville Food Service Director Darla Sanford.

“These women are extremely generous and kind-hearted,” Palmer said.

Recipients of the donations have included:

  • FFCS students and local residents who are undergoing cancer treatment so they may purchase items not covered by insurance
  • Montgomery County SPCA
  • Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter
  • FFCS Backpack Program
  • Haven of Hope Ecumenical Food Pantry
  • Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome
  • FFCS Community Closet

The department’s current fundraiser will benefit the Town of Glen Volunteer Fire Department. Future funds will benefit a local autism group. Members of the Food Service Department have the opportunity to decide who or what will be a recipient of the month’s donation. Every December, the department also holds a food drive to help local families for the holidays.