Emily Cates, Food Service Administrator for Avon Community School Corporation, was honored last week as the District’s Environmental Educator of the Year! Mrs. Cates has worked for years reducing the environmental impact of the School District’s Food Services Department. Through her efforts, her department has been awarded multiple grants from the Solid Waste District aimed at bolstering the School District’s cafeteria recycling program. Additional grants were awarded to replace wasteful single-use plasticware and polystyrene trays with durable, reusable flatware and trays.
Most recently, Mrs. Cates has helped organize a food rescue program that is not only diverting edible food from the waste stream, it is getting that food into the hands of those in need right here in our community! Thanks to the food rescue program, student with leftover fruit, prepackaged food, and drinks, can simply place those items aside when they are done eating. Those items are then made available for other students, taken to the Mary Lee Maier Community Pantry, and distributed to other nearby food pantries.
Emily Cates is quick to point out that the extensive environmental stewardship programs she oversees would not be successful without the help of those she works with in Food Services Department and the support of the Facilities staff members across the District.
While Emily Cates isn’t an environmental instructor in the traditional sense of the word, she’s certainly taught many student and staff members what it means to reduce, reuse and recycle! Congratulations, Emily!