JAY — Regional School Unit 73 directors voted Thursday night, May 25, to not participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program [CACFP].

This is more of a housekeeping thing, Laura Merrill, food service director said prior to the vote. “LD577 requires that any school that is greater than 50% free or reduced [meal eligible] must participate in CACFP or formally opt out by the board, which is what we have done in the past,” she noted. “I am asking to do so again.”

The primary school is the only school that qualifies, 21st Century afterschool program provides snacks at the school and the food pantry is available, Merrill stated. During the pandemic, participation for meal pickup was practically nonexistent at that location, she noted.

“Basically one family picked up meals three times a week, that was about it,” Merrill said. “If the board wants to participate, we are going to be looking at additional staffing. Somebody has to be there, students have to eat on site, so it becomes very costly. I am concerned about the effect it would have on other programs.”

There are other areas that should be focused on, Merrill stated. Vending machines were looked into, would cost $16,000 for the few meals served at the primary school, she noted, adding that it could be different at the high school where there is more foot traffic.

Board Chair Robert Staples suggested bringing the issue to the board in the fall.


“We can certainly look at this in the fall,” she said. “There were so many uncertainties this year.”

Director Robin Beck suggested conducting a survey in the fall before bringing the issue to the board of directors.

In other business, director Holly Morris challenged other directors to volunteer as bus monitors. She plans to be a monitor one day a week. “There are school bus issues we need to be more aware of than we are,” she said.

Student representative Daniel Wilson reported his Envirothon team had won the South Western Regional Envirothon held that day at Camp Gustin in Sabattus.

“In the schools and probably in the community as well, Envirothon is not a source of pride in this town,” Wilson said. “It is not a sport. Not a lot of people know we win. I think that is not OK.”

Wilson noted that he is biased, having been involved with the program since before he was a freshman. “It means a lot to some people,” he said. “We do a lot for our trophy cases.”


“A lot of us do know about Envirothon,” Staples responded. “We are excited, we do appreciate it. We are proud.”

Wilson stressed his comments were not directed towards the board.

After the meeting, Wilson said one other school and six teams in all participated in the event, four from Spruce Mountain High School. His team and another Spruce team which placed second will be competing at the Maine Envirothon to be held at the Viles Arboretum on June 7.

Friday morning, York County Soil and Water Conservation District, which hosted the regional competition in collaboration with Androscoggin Land Trust [ALT] reported the results, listed below:

• First: Spruce Mountain 1, scored 417.67
• Second: Spruce Mountain 3, scored 337.66
• Third: Massabesic 1, scored 314.74
• Fourth: Spruce Mountain 4, scored 302.31
• Fifth: Spruce Mountain 2, scored 288.45
• Sixt: Massabesic 2, scored 183.25
The regional competition was co-hosted by the Oxford, Cumberland, Franklin and Andy Valley Soil and Water Conservation Districts.


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