St. John Valley

Food service director generates new benefits

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — Co-workers describe Melanie Lagasse as a giver and go-getter.  Since her hiring date of July 2018 she has initiated several programs that directly affect the welfare of children.  

The first she brought to the district from her last employment.  The Take Home Program allows qualifying students to bring home a school bag full of food for the weekend.  They bring the bag back on Mondays, where it is refilled with food and sent home again on Fridays.

On one of her trips to Bangor, she stopped at a sporting goods store to ask for donations to help with her backpack project.  Although they did not contribute toward the purchase of food, to her surprise they graciously donated several thousand dollars worth of soccer and football cleats. Students in SAD 33, SAD 27 and Madawaska High School received the cleats.

According to SAD 33 Superintendent Lisa Bernier, this past month Lagasse obtained a $3,500 donation of New Balance sneakers in all sizes and colors.  Many students have benefited from this gift. The remaining sneakers are stored in her office and in the main office at Dr. Levesque Elementary School, and students know that if they are in need of a pair of sneakers they can trade in old ones for new ones.

Lagasse will begin a Summer Meal Program, running from June 18-July 31.  will be free to students 18 and under attending the St. Agatha Recreation Department activities, and will be open to the public with the adult meal price set at $4.50.  Breakfast and lunch will be served at the Wisdom High School cafeteria.

Lagasse has also applied for a $2,500 grant to help with start-up costs for the meal program.

“MSAD#33 and the children attending school there are very fortunate to have such a caring and big-hearted person in charge of food service,” said Bernier. “She goes above and beyond the call of duty, and it is much appreciated by all.”

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