School Nutrition Professionals, Our Everyday Heroes
May 07, 2014
A guest blog from Dr. Janey Thornton
Today we’re featuring a guest blog from Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary of the USDA. This blog has been posted by the USDA and Let's Move. We thought it deserved reposting just in time for School Nutrition Employee Week (May 5-9). Thank you, Dr. Thornton, for recognizing the important role and hard work of food service professionals.
by Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary, USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services
As the school year begins to wind down, let’s take time to acknowledge the unsung heroes in our nation’s school cafeterias. School nutrition employees contribute greatly to a child’s short- and long-term health and academic success, but their contributions often go without recognition. Today is School Lunch Hero Day , and next week (May 5-9) is School Nutrition Employee Week. Let’s take this opportunity to extend our thanks for all that school nutrition employees do to support our children throughout the entire school year.
School nutrition employees often arrive well before the school buses begin rolling in, working to ensure that students have access to a healthy breakfast to start the school day. Their commitment to these early mornings is invaluable, as we know that breakfast plays a key role in a child’s ability to learn. Before the breakfast period ends, staff members are often doing double duty as they begin preparations for the lunch meal. They’re on their feet, working hard to ensure that our school children receive healthy and tasty meals to fuel their day.
In fact, our nation’s school nutrition employees prepare and serve meals to over 30 million individual students each school day! Not only do they prepare and serve the meals, but many have a moment to connect with every single student coming through the cafeteria on a daily basis—who else in a school building can make that claim?
Throughout my career, I have been continually impressed by school nutrition employees’ dedication to students. From east to west and north to south, I have found that school nutrition employees take pride in their work and strive to do what is best for the students. They truly play a role in students’ health, happiness, and success—and for this, we thank these everyday heroes.
Thank you, school nutrition professionals, for all the great work that you do each day.