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Child Nutrition Center to serve many roles for Ogden students, staff alike

By Rob Nielsen - | Dec 1, 2023

Rob Nielsen, Standard-Examiner

Ogden School District and MarketStar Foundation officials cut the ribbon on the district's new Child Nutrition Center on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023.

OGDEN — The Ogden School District has taken a big step in helping its students, especially those in need.

On Friday, officials with the district and the MarketStar Foundation gathered to cut the ribbon on the district’s new Child Nutrition Center located on the campus of the district offices.

Prior to the official ribbon-cutting, Ogden School District Superintendent Luke Rasmussen told an audience of officials, media and other spectators that the district was unveiling an exciting facility.

“It’s going to provide valuable food security and storage for our students,” he said. “It’s a state-of-the art training facility, as you can see, for our kitchen staff. They’re going to be able to train new cooks and continue to train our staff in the best possible ways going forward.”

He noted that the building will do a lot beyond that.

“It’s also going to be a valuable learning center for special education students to come learn valuable job skills,” he said. “It’s added much-needed office space and we’ll use this facility for training all of our district employees.”

However, one of the biggest resources that will now be located at the Child Nutrition Center will be the MarketStar Resource Center, a collaborative partnership between the district, the Ogden School Foundation, the MarketStar Foundation, Catholic Community Services and the United Way of Northern Utah.

Brynn Murdock with the Ogden School Foundation said the MarketStar Resource Center, or MSRC, being located in the Child Nutrition Center will be a major resource for the district.

“We know that our students, no matter the opportunities we give them, aren’t going to be able to succeed if they don’t have their basic needs met,” she said. “If they’re too hungry to focus in class, if they don’t have clothing or whatever it is — this just really helps to fill those gaps so that our students can be successful. We’re excited to be opening new support centers in our schools that will allow students to have access to showers and different things, and the MSRC is going to be a vital part in that.”

Danette Pulley with the MarketStar Foundation said the group has contributed a lot of basic needs to students in the Ogden School District over the past year.

“Just last year, 598 students were served through the MSRC,” she said. “Over 17,000 items were delivered out to students in schools — that’s over 7,000 food items, over 4,000 clothing items, over 4,000 pairs of shoes, over 3,000 household and hygiene items and 2,500 kits of school supplies. The more powerful thing is the way this community continues to give. Just last year alone, another $107,000 from across the community in in-kind and cash donations continue to come in through the (Ogden) School Foundation to support the MSRC.”

Ken Crawford, maintenance director with the Ogden School District, said the new facility is about much more than just nutrition and training.

“The way we make change and the way that we break the cycles of poverty is by reaching out, providing services, helping those in need and giving them the skills and knowledge to help themselves,” he said. “I hope that when you guys come into this facility, you think of it as a place of learning, as a place of service and a place of love.”

Joyce Wilson, Board of Education president, said she’s impressed with how Ogden supports these types of initiatives.

“It’s unfortunate that the student resource centers are needed, but what a community we have that steps up … and does whatever is needed,” she said.

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Rasmussen told the Standard-Examiner: “We know that we have students that come from diverse backgrounds and students that have many needs,” he said. “By trying to educate and meet the needs of the whole child, this is going to help us provide education for our students by meeting some of those basic needs our students have.”

He added the facility is fully operational as of Friday.

“We’re ready to roll,” he said.


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