HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Friday, May 1 is National School Lunch Hero Day, and now more than ever, schools are coming together to show how much of an impact food service workers have made – especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
Governor Ralph Northam announced a state of emergency on March 12 and shortly after, the closure of all schools and in-class learning throughout the Commonwealth through the end of the school year. After his initial announcement, schools and nutrition teams had meal preparation and distribution plans ready to go.
In a statement released Wednesday by the Department of Education, the student feeding programs put in place during the shutdown have provided over 410,000 meals daily including breakfast and lunch for children and families throughout the Commonwealth.
Virginia Department of Education Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane reached out to the community earlier this week asking everyone to show their appreciation and support for the efforts made by all the school’s nutrition professionals.
“While social distancing may prevent students and parents from doing some of the things they would like to do to show their appreciation, it only takes a moment to share a message on social media to let our dedicated school nutrition professionals — and all those supporting their efforts — know how much they are appreciated,” Lane said.
And on Friday, he did just that.
In Portsmouth, to thank the food service teams, Superintendent Dr. Elie Bracy, III visited Wilson High School, Waters Middle School, IC Norcom High School, John Tyler Elementary, and Churchland High School.
They then posted a video to the Facebook page to show all the hard work and dedication that has been put in over the past few months.
Norfolk Public Schools also flooded its social media with notes of support.
“As often happens in a crisis, there are those people who step forward because they believe in reaching out to meet a pressing need. When the statewide closure went into effect on Friday, March 16, our School Nutrition staff went more than the extra mile,” said NPS school officials.
“Working over the subsequent weekend, they closed down 51 school cafeterias and opened 12 meal sites in three days and brought on school bus service at three more sites on March 19. These dedicated professionals have provided an average of almost 8,000 meals a day.”
Chesapeake Public Schools took to Twitter to show support while holding up their School Lunch Hero Day gear.
Newport News Public Schools gave a massive shout out across social media too!
Poquoson Schools handed out bouquets of flowers to the food service staff to show support.
More information including resources for celebrating School Lunch Hero Day can be found on the School Lunch Hero Day website.
Information about Virginia Department of Education school nutrition programs can be found on the VDOE website.
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