Mascoma school district re-ups contract with provider amid lunch worker firing controversy

Staff Report
Published: 5/16/2019 5:35:05 PM
Modified: 5/17/2019 12:15:13 PM

CANAAN — Cafe Services will continue providing meals for Mascoma Valley Regional School District students after officials voted on Tuesday to approve another one-year contract, even after controversy over a worker who said she was fired for letting a student eat without paying.

The School Board voted, 5-1, to adopt a new contract with the Manchester-based company, which is expected to generate $16,360 for the district. By comparison, competing food service company The Abbey Group predicted it could return only $67 to the district.

Board member Hope Stragnell, who represents Canaan, was the lone vote opposing the contract, according to Superintendent Amanda Isabelle.

Cafe Services came under scrutiny after Bonnie Kimball, a Canaan resident and lunch worker at Mascoma Valley Regional High School, said she was fired in late March for allowing a student have a lunch even though his account had no money in it.

In a letter to Kimball, the company said she was terminated after a district manager “witnessed a student coming through the line with multiple food items that you did not charge him for.”

Isabelle, the superintendent, said the food service contract will take effect prior to this summer. That’s when the district offers free breakfasts and lunches to students 18 and under who are eligible for the federal reduced or free lunch program.

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