Amy Haines

ROMNEY — When Child Nutrition Director Amy Haines spoke to the board at their meeting last Friday, she wasn’t following a script.

She was speaking from experience, and with the child nutrition department facing a huge task ahead of them with curbside pickup for meals, in-person meals as well as weekend deliveries, she was speaking with pride.

“I have never been prouder of a program,” she said simply. “The cooks do an exceptional job, and we have learned to adjust on the fly in any direction that is thrown at us. I have lost count of the times we have had to adjust our meal plans.”

In the wake of the board’s decision Friday to return to in-person learning using an A/B model, Child Nutrition is going to continue curbside pickup for meals. Meals are delivered on Fridays as well, and the 1st week of January saw their return to delivery by bus.

Haines explained that the kitchen staff is just adaptable, plain and simple, and they make feeding the children of Hampshire County look easy.

“What looks effortless takes a lot of time and effort,” Haines commented. “Dynamic people make it look effortless.”

She commended not only her kitchen staff but the transportation staff as well, saying, “Everyone’s doing a fantastic job.”

Board vice president Ed Morgan asked Haines about improving the cohesion between kitchen and transportation staffs in preparation for Friday deliveries, and Haines pointed out that the cooks do what they can, but it’s a space issue.

“When the students are in the building, the cooks are feeding them, plus doing curbside pickup and packing for Friday deliveries,” she described. “When I say ‘packing,’ I don’t have room. My girls don’t have the time to cook, do curbside and pack.”

Haines said that attendance and child nutrition have probably been the 2 most watched departments during the pandemic, and they’ve risen to the occasion, and while working with the secretaries and office staffs, transportation and the nutrition department, it’s a team effort, all the way.

“The support I get from the kitchens and transportation, the way these people work to make it look effortless, it needs to be recognized,” Haines added.

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