Hampton Schools' Hot Lunch Program


Compiled by John M. Holman, Contributing Writer

"In 1920*, the schools started giving a mid-morning lunch of milk and cookies and a hot lunch at noon, but later discontinued this practice. However, they later renewed it. According to the school report for the year ending January 31, 1924, 'the recess milk and noon lunch service is proving popular and effective.' (By 1926, the schools were giving both a mid-morning lunch of milk and cookies and a hot lunch at noon.)"

  (Hampton: A Century of Town and Beach - 1888-1988 - By Peter E. Randall)
[* The 1920 information could not be verified in the Hampton town reports.]

FEBRUARY 16, 1924:
"........Clean surroundings, healthful exercise, milk service, warm lunch and systematic inspection, are all essential. Hampton now enjoys their benefit. ........ The recess milk and noon lunch service is proving popular and effective."

(H. L. Moore, Superintendent of Schools)

FEBRUARY 19, 1925:
"...... The work of the school nurse, the dental clinic and the recess milk service, all contribute to improvement. An average of 60 pupils out of a total of 210, take milk regularly at recess, and 25 take the hot lunch served at noon. This service is entirely self-supporting. Following is the report for the school year 1923-1924:

Total receipts for milk and lunch..........................$376.71
Total expenditures for milk and groceries ............+366.26
Cash balance ........................................................ 10.45
Value of Groceries on hand ................................... + 5.91
Total balance for June 19, 1924 .......................... $ 16.36
(H. L. Moore, Superintendent of Schools)

"....... Owing to the scattered population of our town, many of the pupils are obliged to bring their noon lunch. This is supplemented by a hot dish served in the lunch room under the charge of the Domestic Science department. A mid-morning lunch of milk and crackers is served to the younger pupils, especially to those who are under-weight and under-nourished."

(Charles N. Perkins, Superintendent)

FEBRUARY 15, 1927:
"...... The milk-lunch which is served at 10:30 in school should have a larger attendance. Children who are underweight can have milk each morning and this will help towards correcting this defect. I would point out to the mothers the importance of milk as a food to the growing child."

(Dorothy E. Eldridge, R.N., School Nurse)

FEBRUARY 22, 1928:
"....... The health work has been carried on efficiently by the Red Cross nurse, Miss Dorothy Eldridge. Her work consists of ........., mid-morning and hot noon lunch, etc."

(Charles N. Perkins, Superintendent of Schools)

FEBRUARY 18, 1931:
"......... Each morning we served the undernourished, and any others that desired it, milk and cookies. This has done a great deal to increase the weight of those who were below normal. There has been a noon lunch served during the winter months under the direction of Miss Eleanor Janvrin. This has also helped to build up many little bodies that otherwise would have had to eat a cold lunch."

(N. Elizabeth Hills, R. N.)

JANUARY 31, 1932:
"........ We had several donations for free milk for our underweights. The result of this is very encouraging as the weight of each one has shown a definite increase. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the townspeople who made it possible."

"....... The milk and cookie service has been conducted each morning as usual. During the winter months there have been hot lunches served at noon under the direction of Miss Eleanor Janvrin. This has given the children the opportunity of having a warm lunch at a minimum cost."

(N. Elizabeth Hills, R. N.)

FEBRUARY 19, 1935:
"........ The distribution of free milk to all underweight children in the schools was financed by the federal government and was in charge of the local school nurse. This distribution was made to sixty-five pupils last year and to forty-five this year. The results have been noticeable because of the evident increased vitality of these pupils. The federal government also partially financed hot lunches to such children as were in evident need of this added nourishment.

The Principal of the Centre School reports a total of 4927 hot lunches served during a fourteen weeks period. Of these lunches served, 3534 were provided free, the money being obtained as gifts from several organizations and individuals outside of the school, from contributions given by the teachers themselves and from the federal government. The government-financed hot lunches were discontinued this year but their value is proven by the large increase in the number of pupils who are now taking advantage of our own service."

(Roy W. Gillmore, Superintendent of Schools)

JANUARY 31, 1937:
"........ Hampton children are provided with many of the facilities usually offered only to children in larger places. Hot lunches are served at cost in the school building during the colder months, the district employing a woman, other than a teacher, to do the actual preparing of the food. The Domestic Arts department, under Miss Janvrin, has charge of the arranging of the menu. This is valuable laboratory practice for the girls in charge and a valuable health measure for all."

(Roy W. Gillmore, Superintendent of Schools)

FEBRUARY 21, 1940:
"....... The Parent-Teacher Association has again given toward the cod-liver oil fund for the school children. The Association has also recently given money so that some of the children who are in need of extra nourishment may have hot lunches throughout the cold weather. This is of great benefit and is greatly appreciated."

"The Monday Club and the Mothers' Club have also contributed toward the cod-liver oil fund, and the Mothers' Club toward the hot lunches. We are also grateful to a number of private individuals who have given toward both of these funds."

(Frances V. Smith, R. N., School Nurse)

FEBRUARY 4, 1941:
"....... Many underweight and undernourished children are having daily hot lunch. A few children are having milk at recess. These are provided by a fund to which the Monday Club and Parent-Teacher Association are generous contributors."

(Roy W. Gillmore, Superintendent of Schools)

FEBRUARY 24, 1942:
"........ The various civic organizations have been generous again with donations for projects. The Monday Club, American Legion, and Parent-Teacher Association have given toward the cod-liver oil and hot lunch funds, and the Red Cross has helped in the dental clinic. Much of this work would be impossible without such help."

(Frances Smith, R. N., School Nurse)

FEBRUARY 12, 1946:
"........ The Red Cross has given us the privilege of milk at no cost when necessary for undernourished children."

(Frances Smith, R. N., School Nurse)

JANUARY 1, 1947:
"......... A new noon lunch program taking advantage of Federal Aid was placed in operation under the direction of Miss [Pauline] Whitney in September [1946]. This program has necessitated considerable adjustment of the time table because of the number taking the noon lunch and the large number bringing lunch, and our limited capacity to seat in the lunch room.

"Experimenting and adjustments are still being made but it is hoped a smooth and efficient system will evolve which can be placed in operation another year with a minimum of interference with the regular school program."

(Clifford H. Eastman, Principal, Centre School)

JANUARY 20, 1947:
"......... The school is indebted to the Hampton Red Cross for financial aid in many fields. ......... It also provides funds for hot lunches and milk under the new school lunch program to a limited number of students. We are grateful for its aid in carrying out our health program."

(Frances Smith, R. N., School Nurse)

FEBRUARY 10, 1947:
"......... The Centre School is a participant in the Federal School Lunch Program. I believe it has been entirely successful. It has meant several minor changes in the daily program of the school but the co-operation of the entire staff has resulted in a service which is commended by state officials as well as the parents. A complete lunch as outlined by the federal lunch directors costs each pupil thirteen cents. The program contributes six cents additional. The federal government through the State Board of Eduction and Agricultural Department directs the composition of the lunches. All programs are subject to inspection by their supervisors. This lunch includes a meat dish, or meat substitute, a vegetable, bread and butter and a small bottle of milk. The same group may be purchased without milk. Through the last week in January, we have served 11,172 meals and in addition 1,470 bottles of milk. Of this total, 1,827 were served free with the aid of the Red Cross and the local Parent Teacher Association. One half of the cost of equipment is paid out of federal funds.

(Roy W. Gillmore, Superintendent of Schools)

DECEMBER 31, 1947:
"......... We also appreciate the starting of the Federal lunch program. It was an immediate success. We have from eighty to one hundred pupils who eat regularly there. Very few still carry their lunch. While we can get along as it is, it would be very nice if we could have a temporary partition to separate the lunch room from the shop and a counter for serving."

(Bruce E. Russell, Headmaster [Hampton Academy & High School])

DECEMBER 31, 1948:
"......... The lunch program continues as in the previous year. We have received help from the PTA and the Trustees of the [Hampton] Academy in the purchase of needed equipment which has allowed us to keep the price to the children at a low cost. The Red Cross has also continued its policy of previous years by contributing regularly the cost of meals for approximately ten pupils. While the number of children served varies, the average daily participation is 200. We received at intervals, various surplus commodities from the U. S. Department of Agriculture. These products are used to supplement our regular menu. Orange juice, grapefruit juice, potatoes, etc., are welcome additions to the program. In the near future a cafeteria should be installed in the High School building. We are serving lunches now by carrying the food from the Centre School. With a modern cafeteria, the lunch program could be expanded and made more attractive for the pupils."

(Roy W. Gillmore, Superintendent of School)

FEBRUARY 11, 1950:
"......... Our lunch program is definitely of value, especially so, since a large percentage of our pupils come by bus and so must stay at noon. We are constantly receiving surplus commodities from the Federal Department of Agriculture, which add to the regular menu. Butter, condensed fruit juices, potatoes, apples and dried milk form the bulk of the commodities. The number of children participating is large. The noon lunch is now an established part of our school program."

(Roy W. Gillmore, Superintendent of Schools)

JANUARY 6, 1950:
"......... Our facilities to serve lunch are over-taxed. I cannot require pupils who bring their lunch to eat here. There isn't room. I don't see a solution at present."

(Bruce E. Russell, Headmaster)

FEBRUARY 8, 1951:
"......... The Parent-Teachers Association is, as always, a motivating force in our school system. The Federal Lunch Program recommended by this group is continuing under the direction of local school officials as outlined by the Federal regulations. Because Federal aid was reduced this year, as well as because of increased cost of food, we were compelled to increase the cost to the children from 15 cents to 20 cents per meal. We were sorry to do this, but could see no alternative. Various other services to our children have been considered in Parent-Teacher Association meetings with results all to the good for the schools."

(Roy W. Gillmore, Superintendent of Schools)

DECEMBER 31, 1952:
"......... With the completion of the Centre School addition, lunch service was re-established. The lunch room has been enlarged and the kitchen equipped with a Garland ten-burner stove. An adequate dish washer has now been installed. Surplus commodities are being received regularly. The cost for each meal is twenty-five cents. This is a balanced meal including a bottle of milk.

Mrs. Paul Moore, who has operated "PAUL'S LUNCH" in Hampton Falls for six years, is in charge of the program assisted by Mrs. (Ruth) Osgood, who has been with us for the past two years.

The program operates from a central kitchen and is available to the pupils of both schools. During the first four months of this year, 11,640 lunches were served."

"......... The Hampton Parent-Teacher Association continues its purpose of helpfulness to the schools. Members of this group are helping serve the meals and preparing the tables at lunch time."

(Bruce E. Russell, Headmaster -- [HA&HS])

DECEMBER 31, 1952:
"......... Our new cafeteria was in use about as soon as school started. Mrs. Moore is doing a fine job on the lunch and the lunches are excellent. The Hot Lunch Program is a valuable adjunct to any educational system, for besides furnishing a child with a hot, nutritious, and balanced meal, the eating together is another important step in their social growth. The popularity of the program is attested to by the fact that nearly half the children in school take the lunch."

(M. Wayne Bowie, Principal [Centre School])

DECEMBER 31, 1952:
"......... The Kiwanis Club has contributed funds for free milk and hot lunches for eight children."

(Shirley McRae, R.N., School Nurse)

FEBRUARY 3, 1954:
"......... A successful hot lunch program has been sponsored throughout the school year. The service has been self supporting since its installation. Each child participating is charged twenty-five cents per meal. The Federal Government contributes five cents additional. Surplus commodities are received from Federal sources. For these we pay only transportation charges. These commodities consist mainly of meat, canned goods, dry milk and vegetables. They materially help in allowing better meals than would otherwise be possible. An average of three thousand meals is served each month."

(Roy W. Gillmore, Superintendent of Schools)

DECEMBER 31, 1953:
"......... The cafeteria could be improved a good deal by installing some type of sound proofing on walls and ceiling, for in spite of the fact that teachers keep noise at a minimum during lunch hours, the composition of walls and ceiling there, make the room noisy. The lighting also could be improved by replacing the frosted glass with clear glass and putting larger bulbs and new shades in the present lights."

(M. Wayne Bowie, Principal)

DECEMBER 31, 1954:
"......... Our facilities for serving lunch are not good. We use space taken from our shop and dust from wood working is annoying. If we have to continue there indefinitely, I would suggest a partition to separate the two areas."

(Bruce E. Russell, Headmaster)

DECEMBER 31, 1954:

"......... The Kiwanis Club is again this year supplying funds for free hot lunches."

(Shirley McRae, R. N., School Nurse)

FEBRUARY 7, 1955:
"......... The service clubs have helped the schools in numerous ways. Payment for milk served to some of our pupils has been received. ...... The P.T.A. has contributed a real interest in the welfare of the schools. The help of the members in the serving of lunches to the children is a valuable service."

(Roy W. Gillmore, Superintendent of Schools)

DECEMBER 31, 1955:
"......... I have several recommendations to contribute for consideration. They are as follows:
3. Improve the Hot Lunch program by:
a. Tiling the kitchen floor.
b. Brightening the cafeteria by painting the ceiling.
c. Purchase of a food freezer to enable the lunch program to buy in quantity. It would pay for itself and save money in a few years.
d. The district paying for one of the cook's salaries. This would also allow more flexibility in menu planning. At present there are only about eleven towns in the whole state that do not do this.
e. A mixing valve on one of the faucets in the kitchen."

(Thayer D. Wade, Principal)

DECEMBER 31, 1956:
"......... The Kiwanis Club of Hampton is continuing to supply the funds for free hot lunches for underprivileged children."

(Shirley McRae, R. N., School Nurse)