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Save Money and Eat Well This Tax Season

It’s tax season and it’s a good time to be reminded that if you’re one of the thousands of working Vermonters with children who receive the Vermont Earned Income Tax Credit, you may also be eligible for 3SquaresVT and free school meals for your children.

3SquaresVT helps Vermonters stretch their food budgets and put three square meals a day on their tables. This program has expanded its eligibility so more Vermonters more than ever may qualify for 3SquaresVT.

3SquaresVT is a federal USDA program administered in Vermont by the Department for Children and Families, Economic Services Division – putting healthy food within reach.

Follow this link for more information about qualification!

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The Abbey Group Juding Teen Cook-Off Challenge

Recently, 3 teams from SAU 7 competed in a Teen Cook-Off challenge.  Initiated by the district wellness committee, and funded by a grant from Harvard Pilgrim Health Foundation, the event challenged the student teams to create a school lunch that could meet the new USDA nutritional regulations.  Each team was coached by staff from local restaurants, and advised by Steven Learned, the area Abbey Food Service Manager.  The event drew enough interest to require a preliminary cook-off at 2 of the schools, Pittsburg School and Colebrook Academy.  Those winners met the team from Stewartstown Community School on April 16th to decide which school would come out on top.  The winners not only get bragging rights, but also monogrammed chef jackets with the winning restaurant’s logo.  The judges for the final were Steven Learned, Nina Hansen, and Elaine Van Dyke.  Elaine worked for the New Hampshire DOE in Childhood Nutrition for many years, and now operates her own consulting firm.  The winner of the competition will be announced during a special presentation at the Tillotson Performing Arts Center in Colebrook on May 6th.

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First Time Kindergartners – Building Confidence in the Hot Lunch Line

We encourage parents to come and eat lunch with their child any time but if you can only make it to a single lunch during the year, we suggest going within the first week of school.


It is common practice for kindergarten teachers to walk the students to the cafeteria on the first day before lunch to go through the practice of getting milk, a tray, making choices in the line, and using their numbers or lunch cards. What this training lacks is the authenticity of the hustle and bustle of a school cafeteria at lunchtime.


For kindergartners, the cafeteria is one of the first places they are able to make decisions about what they eat and the people whom they sit next to. These decisions coupled with the volume of traffic and noise can be an overwhelming experience, causing some students to shy away from the main meal and go directly to an open seat.


With the help of a parent or guardian, you can help your child overcome fears and anxiety that many face during this time. When you’re there, it’s important to let your child know that they can let the serving staffs know what they would most like on their plate. We provide an “Offer vs. Serve” program, which means students only need to choose at least 4 items of what is being served, and what they take is up to them.


We like to do our part in easing the Kindergarten cafeteria transition by trying to develop a relationship with each and every student. This starts with friendly and helpful kitchen staffs who reach out to students by engaging them in taste tests, promotions, holiday meals, and other educational opportunities throughout the year.


We want to remind parents that they are always welcome and encouraged to join  their students for breakfast or lunch and that lunch prices  for students are all only around $2.00 for a nutritionally balanced meal with unlimited access to fruits and veggies.

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