Between preparing healthy food, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, Dexter Community Schools food and nutrition professionals have a lot on their plate. To celebrate their hard work and commitment, Dexter Schools will celebrate School Lunch Hero Day on May 1. This day, celebrated annually since 2013, was designated by The School Nutrition Association and Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the “Lunch Lady” graphic novel series. School Lunch Hero Day provides an opportunity for parents, students, school staff and communities to thank those who provide healthy meals to nearly 30 million of America’s students each school day.
Food and Nutrition Director Jennifer Mattison had this to say: “Dexter Food & Nutrition employees are a group of hardworking and passionate individuals during typical years. This school year has brought so many new challenges to so many. Our F&N staff and volunteers completely reinvented our process for feeding the children in our community and have done so with purpose, heart, dedication and tenacity. The level of care and concern that the DCS community has for the community at large never ceases to amaze me. School Lunch Hero Day offers us an opportunity to thank everyone for their tireless efforts in making a positive impact in the lives of the families we serve.”
Federal nutrition standards ensure that school cafeterias always offer low-fat or fat-free milk, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. School meals also meet limits on calories, sodium and unhealthy fats. Dexter F&N staff work hard to ensure that the meals they serve offer an appealing variety of nutrient-rich foods that will propel kids on to a successful day. This mission is even more important during the current COVID-19 crisis, when students’ daily routines have been upended and many parents and guardians who have been furloughed or laid off are experiencing income insecurity.
Using state and federal grants, Dexter Community Schools has provided more than 120,000 meals for Dexter students, including special meals for food allergies and home delivery for those without transportation. Many of the parents who have participated in the meal pickup have commented how much it means to their children to have familiar food from school and to see their “lunch ladies” (and men) and other familiar staff at the meal pick-up line.
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. To find out more about today’s school meals, visit HERE.