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Who are your School Lunch Heroes?

We received so many incredible stories for our School Nutrition Employee Week Giveaway, we want to share them with you throughout this month. These individuals go above and beyond each day to supply nutrition foods to our youth and encourage healthy habits. They are proud of their work and so are we! Thank you to all of you for playing such an important role in children's lives.

"Our kitchen manager, Donna Anderson, at Midway Elmentary embraces the challenge of making her cafeteria a welcoming, vibrant and cheerful place for our students.  Each season the cafe is transformed into a new atmosphere.  Our kids love how their old dark cafeteria is now a fun place to eat meals."

- Kim Elchins, Mead School District, Mead, WA

"The School Nutrition Program in RSU 3, which is a small rural district in an economically disadvantaged area, is asked to do more and more with less and less due to budget cuts. The Kitchen manager at Troy Central School in Troy, ME, which has a free/reduced rate of 82%, takes pride in her work and goes above and beyond for the students, who many have the best meal of the day at school. She often cuts chickens out of whole grain dough for the crust of chicken pot pie, has a "I Heart You" day in February where she cuts the sandwiches into heart shapes, and puts a little extra love out to each and everyone of the students, despite have limited budget and shortened hours. She truly puts her heart and soul into serving the students at Troy making the food extra special and buying her own decorations for the lunch room. The students love their Miss Rachel and is obvious with all the hugs she receives every morning at breakfast."

- Allison Daugherty, RSU 3, Unity, ME

"My cook Marta is always going above her job description and making sure that everyone has what they need. We have one little girl that is very picky eater. Marta will stop in the middle of what she's doing and help this child make her choices so it will be a reimbursable meal. It is usually a non-entree meal but, sometimes we can get her to try something new. We love our jobs and what we can do for our children."

- Kelly Hepler, Pines Lakes Elementary, Pembroke, FL

"Juee Shook is my food manager at our elementary school.  She has done a wonderful job.  She keeps the kids involved in special contest, holidays, seasons,National Lunch Week, etc.  This is a great learning process for them as well as fun and artistic in some ways.  She displays their art in the lunchroom so everyone can enjoy.  Thank you to Julee and her staff for all that they do!!"

-Susan Bellis, Onawa, IA

"Maria Acuna - Maria has such a spark about her. She is spunky and so sweet to all the students and staff. Her attitude brings such a difference to the cafeteria during serving times. She changes the way we do business every single day with that smile and warmth she shows to our kiddos. She is a great addition to our team!!!"

-Cecelia Nolen, Phoenix, AZ

Stay tuned for more stories from School Nutrition professionals!

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