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 those of us in school nutrition are recognized alongside healthcare providers as heroes.
School Lunch Hero Day #SLHD (Friday, May 1) may be a day for officially acknowledging the heroic work of school food service staff each year but we know it’s a year-round effort. This year, our work has been particularly important in meeting the growing food insecurity in our communities.
When schools began closing to contain the spread of the coronavirus, we partnered with your to creatively and quickly change 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 cases whereas foodservice staff personally delivered meals in others. You were patient with us when shelf-stable foods and needed proteins were in short supply as distributors and manufacturers also pivoted for the sudden change in demand. Together, we have gone above and beyond for your kids! While there have been challenges, we have faced them head on with a smile (mostly).
For your heartfelt service and dedication to continuing to provide your students with nourishing meals under difficult circumstances, your students, parents and communities are forever grateful. We THANK YOU on their behalves. 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 also want to extend a huge shout out to the employees at CKC. Our staff has been incredible during this time. They have willingly shifted their roles and responsibilities to meet your needs and your community's needs. They have taken the call to social distance very seriously while continuing to provide an essential service. We love you and appreciate you!