School Lunch Hero Day is May 3, 2019
NEWPORT, Vermont – Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) works with a variety of school nutrition staff at schools throughout the region. These professionals are critical to getting local food onto cafeteria plates and go above and beyond to support GMFTS’s farm to school programming at the schools we work with. From their friendly greetings in the cafeteria and the love they dish out with every student’s meal, to how they encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, our region’s school nutrition professionals are true heroes.
On Friday, May 3, students at GMFTS member schools will show their appreciation for their school nutrition staff as part of School Lunch Hero Day. Students will shower their school lunch heroes with thanks, cards, and recognition. Stay tuned to GMFTS’s social media to hear about some of the amazing professionals we work with to bring healthy food to cafeteria plates.
Between preparing healthy and local meals, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, our region’s nutrition professionals have a lot on their plate.
Under updated federal nutrition standards, school nutrition staff offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and fat-free or low-fat milk with school lunch. Cafeterias must also limit the sodium, calories and saturated fat in each meal. Nutrition professionals working with GMFTS are learning about procurement guidelines and how they can source more local food to incorporate into school meals. GMFTS’s food-hub, Green Mountain Farm Direct, helps school nutrition personnel plan their cafeteria menus to include Vermont Harvest of the Month foods, connecting schools to local farms and getting students excited about local, seasonal eating.
Currently, Green Mountain Farm Direct is working with 44 schools to bring local food into cafeterias and GMFTS’s Farm to School Coordinators are working with 22 schools to incorporate taste-tests and food-based education into student’s daily learning. School nutrition personnel are paramount to GMFTS’s work in schools – they are the people helping Coordinators access kitchen equipment and building relationships between schools and local farms.
School Lunch Hero Day is a nationwide celebration hosted by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author and illustrator of the popular LUNCH LADY graphic novel series and the School Nutrition. Inspired by his own childhood school lunch hero, Jean J. Cariglia, Jarrett J. Krosoczka created the popular LUNCH LADY series of graphic novels for kids, starring a crime-fighting school nutrition professional and her faithful sidekick, Betty.
School Lunch Hero Day gives schools and communities the opportunity to thank the school nutrition professionals who serve 30 million students each day. Creative ideas, downloads in English and Spanish and details are available at www.SchoolLunchHeroDay.com.
To find out more about GMFTS’s Farm to School programming here and Green Mountain Farm Direct here.