Wellesley Receives the Donald D. Johnson Operational & Cost Efficiency Award
Wellesley Public Schools in Wellesley, MA was awarded the Donald D. Johnson Operational and Cost Efficiency Award at the MASBO (Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials) Annual Institute. The Award recognizes school districts for their efforts in developing replicable, cost efficient approaches that address operational challenges commonly burdening districts. In 2019, Matt Delaney, Whitsons Food Service Director at Wellesley Public Schools, and Whitsons Culinary were also recognized for their contributions.
In 2013, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the Food Recovery Challenge (FRC) as a means to encourage organizations to improve sustainable food management practices and prevent and divert wasted food. In 2017, Wellesley Public Schools and the Whitsons Culinary Group joined 15 community partners to develop a community-wide Food Rescue program. Since October 2017, this collaboration has resulted in composting of over 1,000 pounds of food preparation waste and the donation of 2,000 pounds of served but uneaten food.
The program is two-fold, including a prepared food donation and share table program. For the prepared food donation, prepared foods that are served but uneaten are packaged and frozen for donation to Food for Free. Food for Free collects the frozen donated foods and re-packages the food to be served at shelters, food pantries and meal programs. For the share table program, rather than tossing out items (such as single-serve milk and juice cartons, cheese sticks, yogurts, sealed fruit cups, bagged baby carrots and fresh fruit), students place these items on the share table. The shareable items are either taken by other students, placed in a refrigerator for use by after-school programs or donated to the Wellesley Food Pantry.
The program was designed to eliminate and/or reduce food insecurities by re-serving school food service meals that students have chosen not to eat, and the environmental benefits are significant: reducing methane emissions, positively impacting landfills, lowering pesticide use and more.
As recipients of the Donald D. Johnson Operational and Cost Efficiency Award, the district received a plaque in recognition of implementation of this cost-saving initiative, as well as a $2,500 student scholarship award.
Congratulations to Retired Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Judy Belliveau, current Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Cindy Mahr, Director of Accounting and Business Services Wen Cobb, Whitsons Food Service Director Matt Delaney, and the Wellesley Public Schools!
Pictured from left to right:
Assistant Supt. for Finance and Operations Cindy Mahr, Wellesley Public Schools;Retired Assistant Supt. for Finance and Operations Judy Belliveau, Wellesley Public Schools; Matt Delaney, Whitsons Food Service Director at Wellesley Public Schools; Director of Accounting and Business Services Wen Cobb, Wellesley Public Schools; and Ozzie Orsillo, SVP Business Development, Whitsons Culinary Group