EL CENTRO – Last week, the Imperial County Probation Department received an award notification from the California Department of Education that they have been selected to receive a grant award of $100,000 to replace aging kitchen equipment in the Countyâ€™s Juvenile Hall. The grant, originating from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will go towards purchasing replacements for the majority of the kitchenâ€™s large appliances.
â€œThis is great news for the Probation Department and the youth they serve from their kitchen, including youth at the Juvenile Hall and the Betty Jo McNeece Receiving Home,â€ said District 2 Supervisor Jack Terrazas, who is also Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. â€œI want to commend the Probation Department and its staff for their success in securing this grant that will greatly benefit our community.â€
“We greatly appreciate the State Department of Educationâ€™s support in awarding the funds to Imperial County,â€ said Chief Probation Officer Dan Prince. â€œModernizing the Department’s kitchen equipment will optimize our ability to prepare and serve nutritious meals to the youth placed in our care. I especially wish to thank our Imperial County Board of Supervisors for their support of this grant opportunity.”
The Imperial County Probation Departmentâ€™s food service must plan and prepare meals to meet specific nutritional requirements set forth by the State of California. The food service facility cooks and serves approximately 97.4 meals per day for youth at the Juvenile Hall facility and the Betty Jo McNeece Receiving Home combined. The kitchen was built in 1976 and most of the equipments had not been replaced or updated in over 25 years. In the grant application, the Probation Department requested to replace the kitchenâ€™s combi oven, reach-in refrigerator, a mobile heated cabinet, a mobile refrigerator cabinet, an ice maker, and funds to purchase a new gas tilting skillet. This new equipment will increase the Departmentâ€™s ability to serve healthier meals to a potentially larger group of children while simultaneously operating an energy efficient kitchen, reducing energy costs by approximately 25%. For more information about the Imperial County Probation Department, please visit their website.