Since COVID-19 began closing schools across the country, school nutrition professionals have garnered a well-deserved and long overdue moment in the spotlight.
Yolanda Fisher, a cafeteria worker at T.W. Brown Middle School in Dallas, was among the frontline workers highlighted in a recent issue of TIME magazine. She was featured on the cover of the weekly with the quote, “I’m a server for life. It’s an honor to serve those kids who really need it.” It’s not every day that school nutrition professionals are recognized alongside healthcare providers as heroes.
School Lunch Hero Day #SLHD (Friday, May 1) may be a day for officially acknowledging your heroic work each year but we know it’s a year-round effort. This year, your work has been epic in meeting the growing food insecurity in your communities.
Districts nationwide creatively and quickly changed course from regular hot meal service to drive thru and delivered breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Some of you gathered coolers from home to keep foods cool while being delivered. School buses were called in for deliveries in some districts whereas foodservice staff personally delivered meals in others. You improvised when shelf-stable foods and needed proteins were in short supply as distributors and manufacturers also pivoted for the sudden change in demand. You went above and beyond for your kids! While there have been challenges, you faced them head on, with smiles on your faces.
For your heartfelt service and dedication to continuing to provide your students with nourishing meals under difficult circumstances, your students, parents and communities, and we say THANK YOU! We love the stories and photos you’ve shared highlighting how your communities are showering you with gratitude.
We are proud to support you in your valiant work on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response as well as during normal operations. We’re thrilled to have provided hundreds of districts across the country with COVID-19 Emergency Menus to help ease the strain right now.
Like many of you, we’re also looking forward to resuming normal operations. We will be here to support you when that time comes as well. Until then, we share the sentiment emblazoned on t-shirts worn by our friends in Lewiston-Altura: “KEEP CALM AND FEED KIDS.”