RELEASE: Nebraska’s School Nutrition Professionals are School Lunch Heroes

***For Immediate Release***
Thursday, May 6, 2021

Nebraska Appleseed Contact: Omaid Zabih
Strategy Senior Director, Nebraska Appleseed
O: (402) 438-8853 ext 128
ozabih@neappleseed.org

Nebraska’s School Nutrition Professionals are School Lunch Heroes

May 7th is National School Lunch Heroes Day and Nebraska school nutrition professionals have heroically risen to meet the challenges of the pandemic

LINCOLN — Tomorrow, the Nebraska Student Nutrition Action Committee (SNAC), which includes Nebraska Appleseed and the Nebraska Department of Education Nutrition Services (NDE), will celebrate National School Lunch Hero Day by recognizing the hard work and dedication Nebraska school nutrition professionals have shown throughout the pandemic.

After unprecedented COVID-19 related school closings and successful school re-openings last August, Nebraska school nutrition professionals, who prepare and serve meals to students at schools around the state, have continued to do incredible work under difficult circumstances. These Nebraskans have worked long hours and sometimes doubled their workload to ensure that students receive meals through new remote pickup models, delivery service, and in person at schools.

Sharon Davis, Administrator of Nutrition Services for the Nebraska Department of Education

“School Lunch Hero Day provides the opportunity to recognize Nebraska school nutrition professionals’ work to provide for the nutritional needs of our children every year. However, this past year’s national health emergency has spotlighted their exceptional efforts to ensure Nebraska’s children received meals through walk-up or curbside pickup, and even home delivery. Meals served in schools ensured the safety of children through use of alternative meal delivery models, extending meal service times, installing protective guards, and initiating additional safety measures for the service of food items. Nebraska’s school nutrition professionals are champions!”

Eric Savaiano, Nebraska SNAC facilitator and Program Manager at Nebraska Appleseed

“During the pandemic, our school nutrition professionals have worked longer hours and more days, and have filled needs over the summer to ensure kids have the food they need. This extraordinary work has highlighted the essential nature of school nutrition programs, and the people who help them run are truly heroes for kids and families in our state.”

To celebrate nutrition professionals for School Lunch Heroes Day, Nebraska SNAC has launched a Nebraska Nutrition Heroes Hall of Fame webpage at state.nokidhungry.org/Nebraska/nutritionhero that honors individual nutrition professionals around the state and shares stories of their dedication and accomplishments from their colleagues. NDE Nutrition Services has also shared these stories on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NDENutrition.

This summer, Nebraska Nutrition Heroes will be serving hundreds of thousands of meals free to kids ages 1-18 through the Summer Food Service Program at locations around the state. Families can find the closest meal sites by texting “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 or calling 2-1-1 for more information about service locations in communities throughout the state.

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