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Food Service Director Shares Thanks and Appreciation Upon Retirement

As Food Services Director, Ed Carelli, sets to retire after 25 years with Kingston City Schools, he would like to share his appreciation for his food services team with the community and recognize their dedication to feeding students during the pandemic. A note from Mr. Carelli is copied below.


The era of the “Lunch Lady” is in the past.  The Kingston City School District is fortunate to have a staff of food service helpers who are hardworking, versatile and caring.  The food service department has been supplying bagged meals since the school district closed in March, thanks to a great staff that was willing to put the needs of our students first.  The food service helpers stepped up and out of their comfort zone.  These essential workers are true heroes and should be proud of what has been accomplished. When many others were working from home, our staff was busily preparing bagged meals for our students. Bagged meals have been distributed throughout the school community at numerous locations.  During the summer you may have seen a food service van parked on a corner, or at a mobile home park, or at an apartment complex or at many of our school buildings distributing bagged meals.  Currently bagged meals are being distributed at eight of our school buildings.  If that is not enough, the food service department is also delivering meals to families that cannot reach a distribution site during the hours of operation.  Food service helpers have been driving throughout our school community delivering bagged meals Monday through Friday since April.  This is no easy task for our food service staff.

The distribution of the bagged meals is just the tip of the iceberg.  The amount of planning and work in the central kitchen is immense.  Every time a change occurs the staff adjusts accordingly and continues to produce the bagged meals unflappingly.  It would almost seem that no task is too great for this staff.  Imagine making decisions on what to order when you are not sure what the following week will bring.  Decisions must be made about the amount of milk to order, rolls to order, yogurt to order, etc., while not knowing how many bagged meals will actually be distributed. The central kitchen looks like an assembly line at times, the cooperation between the staff is to be commended.  At other times, the staff works independently, slicing meat, making sandwiches, washing and wrapping fresh fruit, making vegetable salads, cupping canned fruit and preparing the bags.

The food service department could not have been so effective without the support of the buildings and grounds department.  These staff members made sure the central kitchen was cleaned and sanitized every day.  Our internal mail delivery person has even been chipping in by delivering many meals each day, as it fits with his own delivery schedule.

The entire food service department has worked extremely hard to make the distribution and delivery of bagged meals successful. The food service helpers that have worked non-stop since the pandemic forced students from the school buildings should be applauded.  This group of committed Kingston City School District employees are much appreciated and well-deserving of praise.  If you know a food service helper, please express your appreciation with a simple “Thank you”, as they are making sure that the students that need food are receiving it!