Audio: Joel Janecek and Mullen Superintendent Mark Sievering discuss the recent beef donations.
MULLEN – The hot lunch program at Mullen Public Schools recently got a boost thanks to the generosity of several local patrons. School Superintendent Mark Sievering said the school had three whole beefs and a whole hog donated by three area families. Martin and Bree DeNayer donated a whole beef and the processing to the school just before Christmas. Since then, Jed and Kara Connealy donated a beef, and a whole beef and whole hog was donated by Shane and Kristi Daniels.
Sievering said the donations were much appreciated by the school.
“The lunch program, of course, is glad to accept this donation, and it’s going to bring local beef now into our lunch program. We have an excellent lunch program anyway, but this just raised the bar a little bit more even,” Sievering said.
The three beefs and whole hog should help provide a local flavor for the remainder of the school year.
“We figured in a school district our size, that basically about eight beef per year would suffice, so to have three already and just half the year to go, that will go a long ways toward getting us through the school year for the lunch program,” Sievering said.
On Wednesday, Jan. 20, the school served beef from the DeNayer donation for the first time, and invited them, along with the other donors, community members and dignitaries to enjoy the meal and have a small celebration.
“This was actually the first day that we had used the beef, so the DeNayer’s beef was on the menu for lunch today. We had hamburgers, they were quite tasty. And then we had just a variety of local folks came in, we had representative from the school board and we had some Nebraska Cattlemen Association representatives there,” Sievering said. “And then we gave a plaque to the folks who donated just in recognition of their donation and getting the ball rolling on this,” Sievering said.
Sievering said if any other local producers are willing to donate, they are happy to accept.
“It’s good for them and they can get a tax write-off for that donation, and then it helps out financially for the lunch program,” Sievering said. “That way we have our students eating locally raised beef which is just a plus all the way around.”
The donations were part of the nationwide Farm to School program.