LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Steven Marinelli

Position: Food Service Director
School: Milton Town School District
School District: Milton Town School District
City, State: Milton, VT

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Steven Marinelli was nominated by a colleague, Keely Agan.

Since Mr. Marinelli joined the MTSD staff, so many positive changes have come about due to his hard work. For the sake of students and staff in the district, Mr. Marinelli has made drastic changes to school menus to increase the quality of food. He has personally made positive changes to the atmosphere of the kitchen, cafeteria, and school gardens. He has also demonstrated amazing leadership within the district, helped his school stand out at a national level for its excellency in farm to school leadership, and has continued to be moral and ethical in all of his practices along the way. 

School lunches have received such a bad rap over time, but Milton has school lunches to be proud of. This change is due to Mr. Marinelli and his farm to school philosophies. MTSD is now lucky enough to have healthy, local, vegetable-filled school lunches that are enjoyed by students and staff. Starting in middle school, students have many options such as salad bar, deli, hot lunch, and fruit and veggie bar for school lunch. Providing students and staff with amazing, healthy food day in and day out encourages learning and a healthy environment.

Mr. Marinelli has also been a role model to students of all ages by inspiring them to cook and explore the kitchen. Year-round, he runs cooking camps where students can learn basic kitchen skills and can even start on a culinary career path if that's where their interest lies. Having opportunities to explore extra-curriculars besides sports or the visual/performing arts creates yet another place for students to grow as individuals and to learn about a great vocation that they can pursue after high school. 

Mr. Marinelli's work extends outside of the kitchen and cafeteria. Because of his passion for the lives of students and staff members, he works tirelessly to make positive additions to the atmosphere at MTSD. By creating a farm to school program that extends throughout elementary, middle, and high school, Mr. Marinelli has ensured that all students are learning about food and nutrition. This has such a positive impact on school atmosphere because it helps promote staff and student health through the scope of wellness that Mr. Marinelli has worked to create. These lessons on wellness encourage students to be healthy and active, which not only positively affects their learning environment, but improves health and nutrition for students throughout their lives.

Mr. Marinelli is also a leader within his school, the school district, and the community. He works closely with administrators as a constant voice for students and staff, whom he interacts with almost every day in the cafeteria. By hosting free dinners for the community throughout the year, as well as catering events within the community, Mr. Marinelli is a leader for students and community members alike. He promotes health and happiness within the community while always advocating for the things that students and staff need to ensure the best learning environment possible.

Since Mr. Marinelli has started his work at MTSD, he has put his district on the map as a model for schools across the country. Being a leader in this respect has taken MTSD students to the White House to grow a garden and harvest vegetables with First Lady Michelle Obama. It has also allowed Mr. Marinelli and other school nutrition professionals at MTSD to speak at conferences across the country to demonstrate their success. Finally, it has helped get local politicians to visit MTSD and observe all of the great things going on. Because of Mr. Marinelli's work for the past several years, MTSD is not only a leader locally, but nation-wide.

Every day, Mr. Marinelli helps to create an atmosphere where students can feel comfortable, and where it's easy to learn. He sees almost every student within the elementary and middle school on a daily basis, so he is able to form connections with many individuals. Mr. Marinelli shows that he cares about the lives of students and staff by listening when they have complaints or come upon hard times. He provides snacks throughout the day for those who are hungry. He also creates opportunities for students who want to learn how to cook or students who want to learn what it is like to help out in a kitchen. By listening to the students and being a part of the school body community, he encourages a nurturing atmosphere where students and teachers feel comfortable coming to the lunch room every single day. 

"Overall, Steve has been a leader in the MTSD district and community for his entire career with us," said Agan. "From being a leader in the kitchen and cafeterias at the school, where he provides delicious and nutritious lunches day in and day out, to being a farm to school leader for the nation and puting our school on the map as a school who prioritizes health and wellness for students and staff, Steve has helped positively change the life of students, staff, and members of the community. We are lucky to have him."

Steven was recently featured on The Do Good Minute, a program run by National Life Group that shines a spotlight on Vermont individuals and organizations who are doing good in the community.

Comments (61)

Holly Burnham Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Steve. You truly deserve this honor. Steve is one of the nicest people I have met at the Milton school district. I have never seen Steve with out a smile on his face. He has done a tremendous job with the well balanced and nutritious meals our children receive daily, my daughter raves about them. The community meals are a great way to bring people together. I look forward to seeing old friends and acquaintances I rarely see any more but I know they would never miss the monthly dinners. More school systems should do this for their community. We are very blessed & thankful to have Steve in ours.

AMY L REX Posted over a year ago

It is not surprising that Steve has been nominated for this prestige award. Foremost, he has created an outstanding Food Services program, inclusive of high quality prepared foods, farm to table community partnerships, educational programming that ranges from locally grown food sources, nutrition and taking care of the environment via recycling. He also supports our most vulnerable learners. He works with program specialists and gives students a space to practice life skills and be active members of their community. He supports students’ interest in cooking through the Iron Chef program. Most importantly though, he ensures food security by providing students access to meals year round. His approach is sensitive and welcoming. Our students thrive because of him. They adore him.

Leslie R. Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Steve! We are so blessed to have you as a member of our school community! You've had such a positive impact on our community and on our students' health. Thank you for all that you do and for continually going above and beyond to best meet the needs of our students!

kate cadreact Posted over a year ago

I have met Steve at several social events that he has catered. Steve has transformed the food service program in many ways as stated in the nomination letter. Due to his efforts he has brought a lot of positive news coverage to our school which is great for the students and school community, and the wider community of Milton. We are very proud of his work and of Steve. He is devoted to the community and the students. Steve works tirelessly, continues to share his talents and create positive opportunities for all. These opportunities will have a lasting impact on the lives of those who participate.

Michelle M Posted over a year ago

We are so lucky to have Steve in Milton. He's not only a friendly face during the school day but also at so many community events throughout the entire year. My daughter loves her school lunch options! National health organizations all recognize how closely intertwined nutrition and academic performance are. Kids that have access to fresh, nutritious food are healthier and have an easier time concentrating in school. Healthy children have a greater chance of growing up to be healthy adults - something an entire community will benefit from. His work provides so much more than just a healthy meal, it's truly an important piece in the foundation of success and we appreciate his efforts!

Beth Maurer Posted over a year ago

Steve is energetic, generous and creative. His goal is to always give the Milton community healthy foods that nourish us heart and soul. Aside from supervising and preparing hundreds of student and staff meals each day year round, I often see Steve give that extra effort. If a student is hungry at a non-meal time, Steve will always find them a snack. If a family is struggling to prepare meals due to illness or tough times, Steve will package up some meals so that the children and parents are happy and fed. Local farmers and vendors work with our school and instill community pride in the meals served. Steve never stops trying to improve life for our students, staff and community. He is truly amazing!

Wendy Bell Posted over a year ago

Steve leads the way in making sure the students, staff and community of Milton are fed. There are healthy fruits available for all classrooms and staff as part of the daily snack program. There is a lunch and breakfast program ready to provide great food to students of all incomes. Many of these programs continue throughout the summer so students do not go hungry. Steve hosts community dinners for the students and their families--and this is not a small school by Vermont standards. I even see him setting up delicious buffets in the hall for those teachers and staff who are taking evening class after an already long day at work. And, I've never before worked at a school that provides free breakfast oatmeal (with all of the fixings) for all staff as they might need it. Steve has totally changed how the students, staff and community of MIlton experience eating in school. I believe he has been a positive influence on how our students will choose to eat outside of school. I have worked in our system since 2001 and as an educator in other public school systems since 1989. In my time, I have never seen such a variety of healthy, quality food choices for both lunch and breakfast. The food Steve provides is not only healthy, but delicious and fun. Imagine roasted and seasoned vegetables, delicious rice dishes, fruit compotes, fresh strawberries, stuffed portobello mushrooms, healthy mac and cheese, and even baked fish. There are new, healthy food choices ready to try every week in the cafeteria. At the older grade levels, pizza is provided everyday as an alternate choice, but I see the majority of students choosing the other healthy alternatives on the menu. My family and friends even ask me what I have for lunch each day and tell me they wish they could eat from our menu. Thank you so much Steve, for not only brightening our day with delicious choices, but providing us with the healthy foods that fuel our learning process!

Lisa LaBelle Posted over a year ago

Steve partnered with ABC Academy to provide our children with healthy meals and snacks through the Child and Adult Nutrition Program. Due to the fees associated with waste water allocation, our program was not able to provide meals to children until this partnership with Steve. Steve, seeing a need in our community, worked with our early childhood program to develop a system where the Milton Town School District could serve as a vendor for local childcare centers. Steve has been providing our community’s youngest children with healthy meals/snacks for years! Steve’s endless positivity and dedication to our community is an example of what it takes to be a Life Changer. He is always willing go the extra mile and puts in countless hours to ensure our children don’t go hungry.

Christian Mock Posted over a year ago

There is not much more I can add to these wonderful testimonials. Steve and his crew are among the most caring and compassionate people I have ever had the privilege to work with.

Laura Lang Posted over a year ago

Our family first met Mr. Marinelli when my daughter and I were apart of a parent and child cooking class that he helped facilitate and support. It helped me and my daughter recognize the potential in the kitchen for her to safely be apart of our meal creation. He continues to be a person that my daughter recognizes as someone who promotes healthy "amazing food" (her words). This past weekend our family attended a Milton Family and Community Center Breakfast with Santa. It was not surprising to see Steve there on a Saturday morning, working alongside the Boy Scouts, and other volunteers bringing in a delicious breakfast spread cooked to perfection.

Will tose Posted over a year ago

Steve is a great guy who effortlessly interacts with the children at all hours! I see him laughing with the after school programs and happily serving community meals into the evening. A real “life changer”

Anore Horton Posted over a year ago

I have had the privilege to partner with Steve on many projects over the past eight years. I am always inspired by his dedication to making sure kids--and their community--have access to healthy, tasty meals in a caring community environment - during the school year, and all summer long as well. Steve works tirelessly to make this happen, and he inspires his amazing and dedicated staff as well. In addition he has served school meal programs all across Vermont for many years as a leader in the School Nutrition Association of Vermont. Steve is so deserving of this award, and I am thrilled to see him nominated!

Nicole Posted over a year ago

Steve is simply amazing! His dedication to all students, faculty, and community members in Milton is incredible. Steve's leadership has transformed the cafeterias of the school district. Students excitedly line up daily to get their hot lunch. There is rarely a time when a student's lunch tray is left full at the end of lunch, which is a testament to how delicious the meals are! Steve and his staff are dedicated to using as many local and fresh ingredients as possible. There will often be new foods for students and adults to try, many times these "taste tests" will find a way into the regular lunch menu. Steve works tirelessly all year long to ensure no student goes hungry in Milton. I have seen him work throughout the summer to help provide summer meals for camps, day cares, and neighborhoods in the community. Steve and his staff model how food can bring communities together, Milton is so lucky to have Steve!

Didi Kinaman Posted over a year ago

Steve deserves this recognition! He brings our school and community together while eating nutritious, delicious, and beautiful food. Milton is so lucky to have him as a resource--every smile here is just a little bigger thanks to Steve, his wonderful staff, and his amazing nutrition programs!

Amie Paquette Posted over a year ago

Steve was so helpful with a fundraiser character breakfast for Milton High School Drama. I really appreciate his hard work, dedication and generosity with his time and expertise. He is an invaluable asset to the Milton school system and community.

Stacey L Mumley Posted over a year ago

I am so excited to see that someone besides our family acknowledges the hard work that Steve does for our community. His dedication is WAY beyond just making the amazing, healthy, yet delicious foods every day for our students. It goes beyond him making changes so that the kids in our district are eating as many healthy, locally grown meals in a week as he can ALL year. He didn't just organize a summer food program so the families that struggle in our community have one less meal to worry about. He doesn't just make the first and most important meal of the day accessible for all of the students by getting the breakfast program funded and staffed accordingly. He doesn't just make a community dinner once a month where we can all come together for a delicious, healthy cooked meal - regardless of the ability to make a donation. What most endears Steve to my family is the way he embraces and works with ALL kids. He welcomes ALL kids and makes them ALL feel welcome in the lunchroom. Our family has raised countless children in this school system through birth, adoption, and fostering and now we have grandbabies also entering the school. Our youngest 2 adopted kiddos have some birth family trauma and Steve has been AMAZING with them both, but especially with our son. He suffers from trust issues, focus problems, lack of interpersonal skills and the list goes on. Steve and his staff have been so welcoming and offer a place for him to go where he feels safe, accepted and welcomed. Our community and especially our kiddos are blessed to have him. He is a hard working man that cares for each child in the district like he knows them personally. He is a blessing!!

Jenna O Posted over a year ago

Steve's dedication to his work and compassion for the children and families he supports is truly inspiring, both for myself and across the state of Vermont. Steve is a mentor to other food service directors and school administrators, serves in leadership positions on food service and anti-hunger organizations, and is a great resource for anyone looking for a real-life example of what a strong and healthy school culture can look like through food.

Robert Mulkeen Posted over a year ago

I'm very impressed with the variety and quality of food available at every meal! When I was in school, it was hamburgers, hot dogs and spaghetti with peanut butter and jelly or tuna sandwiches as an option. During high school, I usually ate at the local deli. When I'm cafeteria monitor I try to get the little ones to at least try the vegetable sides that Steve creates. If they do, they often like them. The macaroni and cheese is the best! Congrats Steve!

Catherine Stout Posted over a year ago

I no longer work in Milton as I moved out west. My new district has only made me appreciate Steve more. The kids here are subjected to pre-packaged food, frozen fruit on salad bar, and never any warm veggies. How I miss the garlic parsnips at Milton. Steve had first graders eating sophisticated foods. I noticed a lot less waste there too. Well prepared, eye pleasing, tasty food gets eaten. Steve is an innovator in school food!

Heather W Posted over a year ago

Milton School District is lucky to have Steve. A couple years back my son attended a daycare that was part of the food program and everyday Steve delivered these meals directly himself. He interacts so well with the children and always has a smile on his face. The nation should be taking notes from Steve, and all children should have access to local, fresh and healthy meal options. Way to go, Steve!

Emily Hecker Posted over a year ago

Steve is amazing. With obesity and 1 in 4 Vermonters suffering from food insecurity, he offers students in our district a life-long relationship with healthy eating habits: which can solve so many health problems. He creates delicious health food in a warm, positive environment. Definitely changing lives!

Kerry Armstrong Posted over a year ago

Thank you Steve for all that you do for our kids and the community!!!!!

Molly Snow Posted over a year ago

Steve went out of his way to make sure my daughter was able to access gluten free food after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease during her junior year of high school. Not only that but he met with her to ease here anxiety about cross contamination and had the people working with him make sure they knew Abbey and her needs. Being diagnosed with something that changes everything about your food intake during high school was very challenging and Steve exceeded our expectations in easing her into trusting himself and the staff. Thanks so much Steve!

Deb Robinson Posted over a year ago

When Steve first came to the school in Milton there was such a sharp change in quality and offerings of the food service that there were lines! People would line up to get school lunch! He has a very thoughtful menu, using quality ingredients that all kids should have access to but many do not. By having this amazing offering at school it has opened the options up nutritionally. He implemented the summer lunch program which helped students with food scarcity at home relax and realize they will have food available to them. He has created community events that bring our families together around food. Steve's passion for a thriving food service program is evident in all he does. We are very fortunate to have him.

Val Cortright Posted over a year ago

Steve has a very special place in my family’s hearts. Our son, Anderson, was 100% tube fed when we met Steve 4 years ago. We joined a cooking class for preschoolers that Steve led. Steve presented food to Andy in a such a positive way that he actually began eating by mouth! A long road that began with Steve’s positivity about the importance of food and nutrition and Andy is now 100% eating by mouth. We can’t help but believe that Steve’s positive influence was the catalyst that helped Andy get to where he is today!

Sarah Metcalf Posted over a year ago

I first met Steve when our oldest daughter decided to join the Jr Iron chef team in middle school. She was on one of two teams who competed each of her 3 years of middle school. Her team won a catergory 2 of those 3 years. She really enjoyed being on the team and working with Steve and the staff. She also took cooking classes with Steve over the summer and on school vacations. Steve does his best to get students interested in their food and where it comes from. As a parent I am comfortable letting my children get school lunch any time they would like because I know the choices are going to be healthy options. As an employee of the school I eat lunch at school several times a week. Our side dish bar, daily soups and salad bar are always fresh and ever changing. Our daily hot entree is usually made up of items that we would cook at home. I’ve also seen Steve work tirelessly in the summer months providing food for the kids in town. We have several places around town that any child under age 18 can have lunch all summer long. This is a great benefit for those who otherwise may have a challenge feeding their children when they are not in school. Steve truly cares about the kids and is always smiling when he is working. We love Steve and his enthusiasm for food!

Phyllis Scribner Posted over a year ago

Steve is amazing! He has improved the atmosphere of the Milton Town School District cafeterias, improving the quality of the meals and helping students, educators and the community at large understand the importance of good nutrition and it's effects on student learning. He has also catered several special events for our Cub Scout Pack. The meals were delicious and enhanced the events that meant a great deal to our Scout families. Steve has opened his kitchen to my daughter, who utilizes an alternative schedule to enhance her learning. Once a week, she is allowed to plan, shop and bake a recipe, utilizing math skills and nutrition information to learn real-world skills. Steve deserves this award for all of the wonderful things he has done for our community!

Catherine C. Posted over a year ago

Steve's passion for making sure that each student receives the fresh, nutritious food that we all need to stay healthy and thrive is beyond inspiring. I wish we could line up every child he has ever helped to be well-nourished and see how far the queue would go. I'm sure it would stretch a long, long way!

Jennifer Posted over a year ago

Steve has been a positive influence to our school’s nutrition program. My kids love his meals and have tried many new food because of him. His community dinners are such a great way of bringing the community together and the food is always great! He Is such a life changer to our community with all of the outreach he has done. Milton is a better place because of him.

Sam Posted over a year ago

We are very lucky to have Steve at our school! My children both talk about Steve and how much of a positive spirit he has. He always has a smile on his face and works hard to make sure all of our children have new and healthy foods! A daughter who is very selective of her food choices since a young age, has so many different options that make school breakfast and lunch an option for us!

Jennifer Knowles Posted over a year ago

Steve has been not only a LifeChanger for many of the students in our school, he has also been a CommunityChanger for an entire town. The food service program in Milton is known regionally and nationally for the healthy, delicious and approachable food. He has created events and activities that have drawn the town together. By infusing a sense of joy and fun into the meals he lovingly prepares Steve is able to coax the most reluctant of eaters into trying new things. Steve approaches each situation with a 'How can I help?" attitude. The culture and climate of our school is following the model of the food program and for that we are grateful with full hearts and bellies!

Megan Emch Posted over a year ago

Steve helped with the Grow it, taste it, try it program a few years ago. The program had toddlers and parents cook new foods together. My son Jackson looked forward to it and loved cooking and learning about new foods . 4 years later Jackson still looks forward to seeing Steve at school and looks forward to his menu. He also loves to cook and talks about becoming a chef someday :)

Lisa Posted over a year ago

As a parent of a special needs child I was happy to see how excited my son was to work in the cafeteria at the Middle school. I like that Steve is letting the kids participate and learn how to fill the milk coolers and other things that need to be done in the kitchen, and teaching them along the way. Steve has changed the town with the community dinners. That is an experience that my son will never forget, as he is still mentioning Steve at times. You deserve this Steve!

Kym Duchesneau Posted over a year ago

Steve Marinelli is an amazing asset to the Milton community and I am so proud to support his nomination for Lifechanger of the Year! Since Steve has been with the Milton Town School District, he has been a huge supporter of Milton Recreation and we have worked on countless projects together. From Community Dinners & Breakfasts to Winter Festival hot cocoa, Cooking Camps & classes to Summer Meals and more, Steve is always there going above and beyond and then some and always with a smile. He is truly one-of-a-kind and an inspiration to all. Thank you, Steve, for all you do - we are lucky to have you as part of our community! ~Kym Duchesneau, Community Member and Town of Milton Recreation Coordinator

Lisa Posted over a year ago

As a parent of a special needs child I was happy to see how excited my son was to work in the cafeteria at the Middle school. I like that Steve is letting the kids participate and learn how to fill the milk coolers and other things that need to be done in the kitchen, and teaching them along the way. Steve has changed the town with the community dinners. That is an experience that my son will never forget, as he is still mentioning Steve at times. You deserve this Steve!

Amie Saunders Posted over a year ago

Steve is a valuable asset to our Milton Community! Not only does he ensure our kids have healthy food choices at both breakfast and lunch while in school but he also brings our community together. He and his staff provide a free summer food program for all kids, a monthly community dinner for all and are often in attendance at local events (painting murals in the park or breakfast with Santa, to name a few). Steve makes learning about gardening, farm to table and composting fun and has introduced so many new foods to the 'not so adventurous' eater. Thank you Steve for all you do for our community.

Michelle Posted over a year ago

I wish the school menu was this delicious when I was in school 20+ years ago. Steve really makes an effort to offer a variety of dishes on the school menu for kids to choose from. All nutritionally balanced. His efforts are year round, offering meals through the summer to ensure no child goes hungry. I am thankful to have him as part of our school community.

Rick Scharf Posted over a year ago

Steve is making a REAL difference here at Milton Town School District. He is facilitating collaboration between the cafeteria, classroom, and community and has been a part of starting the Farm-to-School program here and to continue to widen its reach to all aspects of our students' experience. Steve's work to insure that every student has access to abundant and nutritious food has had a huge impact. Further, he supports students not only as eaters, but as growers and producers. We have a robust school gardening program that involves every high school student in a 4 year program of learning about foods and what it takes to produce nutritious foods while building and maintaining healthy soils. Steve has supported me, as a high school biology teacher, to build and expand this program and to continue to facilitate connections between these two ecological acts- eating and growing. We appreciate your tireless effort, Steve!

Ethan Rogati Posted over a year ago

Steve has been an awesome contributor to the Milton community, both inside and outside the walls of the schools, since his arrival. In emphasizing local items and good nutrition, he is a positive influence on all of the kids of the school district.

Gloria Crowe Posted over a year ago

I am very grateful to Steve; I suffer from multiple food allergies and he always makes sure that there are healthy allergen free options available.

Gloria Crowe Posted over a year ago

I am very grateful to Steve; I suffer from multiple food allergies and he always makes sure that there are healthy allergen free options available.

Jackie Posted over a year ago

We are so lucky to have Steve as a part of our school community! He always goes out of his way to support all of students, their families and our community as a whole. He strives to make healthy and nutritious food delicious and accessible for our students and is always there to share a warm smile. Thank you for all you do for us, Steve!

Kate Posted over a year ago

Congratulations! I wish the school lunch menu looked this delicious when I was in school!

Peggy Heath Posted over a year ago

Steve is such a wonderful asset to our community. My daughters love Mr. Marinelli and have tried foods for him they would never have from me! You see him everywhere in our community, making sure children have food in the summer and making delicious community dinners with his team that bring a cross-section of our town together. I particularly like that many of his efforts help low income and underserved families come together with more fortunate families and allow them to develop friendships and support systems that help lift them up. Thanks for all you have done for our community Steve!

Olivia P Posted over a year ago

Steve's dedication to addressing hunger is inspiring. He works consistently to make sure that students have access to the foods they need to make them successful students and members of their community. His commitment to food security extends outside of his school district, as he has been a valuable member of local and statewide initiatives to reducing hunger in Vermont. Thank you for all you do for our communities Steve!

Lynne Manley Posted over a year ago

Steve has had a "Life Changing" impact on the lives of so many Milton families. He is the heart and soul behind our fresh, nutritious school lunches, delivers meals to daycares, hosts community dinners that bring us all together, and has written grants to provide summer meals, fresh fruit and other options. He is dedicated and energetic, and he's making a positive difference in our community.

Julie Danaher Posted over a year ago

Steve makes a world of difference in the Milton community. My daughter Jackie benefitted from Steve’s food program at Milton elementary and at her daycare as well. We grew to know Steve and Jackie knew how big his heart is, and would run right up to him for hugs. Whether a farmers market, cafeteria, or summer fun days, Steve was there with a smile and good food for all! Thank you Steve for all you do!!!

Ginger Farineau Posted over a year ago

Steve is my partner. Every week day he gets up at 4:30am and goes into work to meet the delivery truck, make coffee for the custodians and start getting things set up for his staff. It's Saturday morning, -2 degrees out and Steve got up at 5:30 and headed to the "Breakfast with Santa" at Georgia Mountain Maple Center, sponsored by the Cub Scouts. The group needed help cooking all of the food, so Steve volunteered to cook some of the food at the school and deliver it to the event. Last week when he was in Pennsylvania, at hunting camp, he called me and told me that if I was going to get a Christmas tree while he was gone, to be sure and get it from the Milton Youth Hockey stand, so of course, we did! Almost every time we are in the grocery store, some child comes running over and says, "Hi Steve!", sporting a big smile! He caters to two child care centers in Milton, and that is where the children of this community begin their relationship with him. By the time they get to kindergarten, he is a familiar face at the new, big school. He's one of the most thoughtful people I've ever known!

Ben Nappi Posted over a year ago

Steven told me the other day that he was going to retire in Milton, and it made my day. He is an outstanding asset for our schools and community as a whole. Tireless dedication to making others happy and healthy.

Joanna Scott Posted over a year ago

Thank you Steve! You are a shining and caring light that our district desperately needed some many years ago! You’ve changed the culture of food for our students, staff and community! Thank you for all your hard work, leadership and compassion. I’m so grateful I had the privilege of working with you!

Jacki Fagan Posted over a year ago

I've witnessed the kindness and compassion Steve has for the children of Milton. He never allows a hungry belly to go unfed. Also, he mentors our students through small jobs and other aspects through his food program. He is many things to the students at Milton and I hope he's recognized for all the good he brings to our children and district. It takes a village to raise a child, and he is a leader within our village!

Jocelind Knapp Posted over a year ago

We are so fortunate to have Steve in Milton! I wholeheartedly agree with all that has been said about the amazing food program that he has created and maintains for our students. My children have learned about what they are eating, the importance of healthy choices, composting, and most importantly they love what they are served! Thanks, Mr. Marinelli and crew for leading the way in school lunch programming.

Tabatha Posted over a year ago

Steven Marinelli has not only dedicated himself to this district, but to all schools across the nation. Providing leadership in healthy nutritious and delicious food options for youth, Milton under his direction has been considered a leader for school lunches!

Alice Buinicky Posted over a year ago

Not only do the kids enjoy Steves meals his summer program is great ..his community meals are a pleasure for families and the seniors have a great time enjoying the meal with so much action and help from all...he is a great addition to our town and school...

Jen Saunders Posted over a year ago

As a parent of a student with special needs, I appreciate the open and inclusive atmosphere of the MTSD kitchen. Steve Marinelli allows students to make their own way in the kitchen, trying new foods and exploring ways to participate in the preparation of their own meals. It's a positive experience and one that all our kids needs to feel confident and successful. As a staff member at MTSD and the district's Homeless Liaison, I am honored to work with Mr. Marinelli. He is compassionate and generous with all of our students and families needing a nutritious meal to keep them safe and fueled for learning. No student in MTSD goes hungry as soon as Mr. Marinelli knows that they need a little extra food to get them through a tough moment, a long weekend, or just for the night. I know of countless students and families that have benefited from Steve's kindness, generosity and a healthy meal. The thing is, for every one that I know about, I know there are several more that receive the same treatment...quietly, without any acknowledgement. Steve doesn't need accolades, although they are plentiful. He just is passionate about serving our community!

Robert DeCicco Posted over a year ago

Steve and his hard-working crew are transforming school lunches from a thing of noteriety to a beacon of light for communities all around the world! Steve has capitalized on the local movement and the community spirit that encapsulates the movement. Through Steve's leadership, our school's food service program takes student nutrition seriously in pioneering ways. Steve's kitchen provides food, not only to the students within our community, but also to the larger community. They do this throughout the year even when school is not in session. We have frequent community dinners that brings us closer together and he has partnered with stakeholders from various corners within our school and community to provide opportunities that were not available in the past. Congratulations and well-deserved!

Betsy Rosenbluth Posted over a year ago

Not only has Steve created a fantastic school nutrition program at Milton, but it serves as a model across the state. Steve is always happy to help coach other school nutrition staff and has successfully advocated for more state funding for Farm to School and Early Childhood so other schools could get the support they need.

Kimberley Hoffman Posted over a year ago

Steve has implemented a school food service program that has brought fresh local fruits and vegetables onto the kids lunch trays, exposed students to new cuisine, and has provided students with numerous food options that helps to provide variety in their diets. Steve is always open to new ideas and suggestions and he easily collaborates with community resources. I wish every school in Vermont had a Steve Marinelli.

Tami Koester Posted over a year ago

Over the past several years Steve has welcomed some of our students needing flexible pathways to learn math, habits of mind, and social thinking skills to stock milk, for purchase drinks, and for purchase ice cream deserts. Students participating in this alternative learning atmosphere feel welcomed, valued, and are proud of their contributions to the cafeteria. As the liaison between the cafeteria and students, I'm approached throughout the school year, but especially at the start of the school year with student requests to 'work in the cafeteria.' Steve also supports our farm to school coordinator in teaching our kids how to make healthy no-bake snacks. Students with special needs and my own advisory kids look forward to these weekly and monthly opportunities. I started eating in the cafeteria thanks to Steve's farm to school philosophy. This is noteworthy because I'm known to be a very healthy eater. So when colleagues began seeing me carrying a full cafeteria tray down the hall to eat at my desk, there were A LOT of surprised looks and comments! I appreciate the monthly community dinners Steve has brought to our school. I love seeing young and old together in our school cafeteria eating at the same table. I know, and our kids know Steve cares about us and wants the best for us.

Keely Posted over a year ago

Steve became food service director when I was a student at MTSD. I saw the amazing changes he was making firsthand, and he inspired me to go to college for Dietetics and Nutrition and Food Science. Now I am proud to work with Steve on maintaining a high standard for school lunches as well as bringing Farm to School to MTSD to enrich learning for students of all ages!

Christina Posted over a year ago

He is daughter, always looks for him. He always grabs her cereal, cause she won't eat the other breakfast...My six year old, says...he the good one !!!