Head of school lunch program serves the best customers he has ever had

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With most public spaces vacated by people staying at home, new elements emerge in the landscape and soundscape of Vermont Burlington Free Press

Scott Fay spent the first part of his career working in expensive restaurants in the Burlington area, serving rich people, as he says.

When he and his wife began having children, Fay looked for a job with more regular hours, and landed a managerial position in the school lunch program for the Essex Westford School District.

That was 14 years ago. Today Fay, 45, is senior manager of the program that provides free lunches to school kids, overseeing a staff of about 50 people. Except now, thanks to the coronavirus crisis, he’s managing a staff of about 18.

“Some are excluded because of age, or compromised immune systems,” Fay said. “Some have kids at home.”

Yet, those 18 people, together with about six volunteers and three school nurses to watch over safety protocols, have served more than 58,000 meals since March 19, the day after the schools closed. Fay and his crew are serving breakfast and lunch to about 1,000 kids daily — 2,000 meals a day.

“I’m impressed every day that my staff shows up and does their work,” Fay said. “They want to contribute. There’s a lot of ways to get out of coming to work right now. They step up to the plate and put themselves in harm’s way every day.” 

The meals are simple. A slice of pizza. An egg and cheese sandwich. A muffin with milk and juice. But for some of the kids, they’re vital.

“It’s super rewarding,” Fay said. “These are the best customers I’ve ever fed in my life.”

Contact Dan D’Ambrosio at 660-1841 or ddambrosio@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanDambrosioVT. 

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