Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will receive $122,137.34 to replace cafeteria equipment at three high schools, including Independence High School. The money will come through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (also called federal stimulus funding).
CMS applied for the ARRA grant in May; the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education approved the application at its June 9 meeting. CMS requested $136,825.76 and was awarded $122,137.34. The grant requires funds to be used to purchase equipment for preparing and serving school meals, each piece of equipment to cost at least $5,000, and the money to be spent by Sept. 15. Preference was given to schools where more than 50 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunch.
CMS will use the funds to replace outdated hot and cold serving equipment at Garinger, Independence and West Charlotte high schools. All three schools are still using serving lines that were installed more than 30 years ago: Garinger in 1976, Independence in 1967, and West Charlotte in 1979.
“The cafeterias at Garinger and Independence were scheduled for renovations from bond money a couple of years ago, but that money had to be used for other purposes,” said Cindy Hobbs, director of Child Nutrition Services. “We are thrilled to receive this funding to replace the old equipment.”
The new serving lines are set for installation this summer, to be ready for the upcoming school year.