Alice Westrich, head cook and co-food director at the Upsala school district in Minnesota, has been chosen as NutriStudents K-12 Foodservice Hero! School Lunch Hero Day, which takes place each year in early May, was created by the School Nutrition Association to recognize hard-working foodservice staff members for everything they do to support students and learning.
Alice started in her position less than two years ago without a background in nutrition – and she has effectively transformed the district’s foodservice program.
“We are in ‘meat and potatoes country’ here in central Minnesota,” she said. “Even so, the kids were ready for a change and I was too.
“With help from NutriStudents K-12, we have expanded their horizons. Every day seems to be something new and we are serving food they haven’t experienced before. Like the queso meatball sub – the little kids were fascinated, wondering why the meatballs were on the bun!”
Alice cares deeply about making healthy meals that appeal to a wide variety of students while creating a warm and welcoming environment for the kids. Recently while attending a basketball game, one of her students walked over just to say thank you.
“When people ask me if I like my job, I say yes! It’s like getting to host a graduation party every day,” she said.
As our 2021 Foodservice Hero, Alice will receive an official Foodservice Hero apron and hat.