PSS gets approval for new high school cafeteria

Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) congratulated the Public School System on approval of its proposal to use federal carryover funding to build a new cafeteria at Marianas High School. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service approved the $1.4 million project request on Monday. PSS will use the money to address the high school’s dilapidated kitchen facilities and to expand the capacity of the cafeteria, which was originally designed for a student body one-third of the current enrollment.

“I congratulate PSS on the successful application for use of these federal grant funds. And soon, our MHS students can look forward to enjoying their meals in a safer and more comfortable cafeteria,” Sablan said.

PSS made the proposal in September to use carryover funds from its fiscal year 2015 Nutritional Assistance Grant for the construction. Sablan immediately contacted FNS Administrator Audrey Rowe, giving his support for the project.

The new cafeteria would “improve the health, wellbeing, and education of PSS students,” he wrote to Rowe, “particularly in light of the damage visited upon PSS facilities by the recent Typhoon Soudelor.”

Sablan said yesterday that he very much appreciated the continuing partnership and responsiveness of Rowe and of Administrator Jesus Mendoza at the FNS Region IX office in San Francisco.

“Both Ms. Rowe and Mr. Mendoza have gone out of their way to do what is best for the Northern Marianas,” said Sablan. “Whether it has been raising food stamp benefit levels on Rota, Tinian, and Saipan, or quickly releasing emergency food assistance after Soudelor, or now the approval of this new facility for students at MHS, the Food and Nutrition Service—and its leadership—is an agency that puts the interest of people first.”

This will not be the first time that federal school meal funds have been used for construction. In 2005 San Vicente Elementary School got a new cafeteria, also with the use of the Nutritional Assistance Grant.

“The more we do to make sure that our children are well fed, healthy, and well educated the more we ensure a prosperous future for the Northern Mariana Islands,” Sablan said. “Approval of this new cafeteria at Marianas High School is a wonderful Christmas gift for our students and our entire community.” (Office of the Delegate)

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