Dear AUSD Community,
This Friday is School Lunch Hero Day. Designated by the School Nutrition Association, it’s an opportunity for all of us—parents, students, school staff, and communities—to recognize the hard-working school foodservice professionals in Albany for everything they do to help support student learning.
The Albany School Food Project staff’s dedication and perseverance during the COVID-19 pandemic was heroic. Executive Chef Sabina Feinberg and her staff had to create a Grab-and-Go meal distribution system that limited contact to keep everyone safe. Chef Feinberg also coordinated with Alameda County Foodbank and other local resources to provide bread and groceries to families in addition to prepared meals. With the help of community volunteers, the Albany School Food Project was able to provide meals to children in University Village for the past year. Just last month, new systems for meal distribution at the elementary and middle school sites were created to provide grab and go meals as students returned to school in person.
Well-nourished kids can participate more actively in school, which affects both their academic performance and positive behavior whether in the classroom or at home during remote learning. Child nutrition programs also serve a critical role as part of the U.S. safety net, helping to alleviate food insecurity for millions of low-income students. Managing a child nutrition program is challenging—menus must adhere to strict federal nutrition regulations, which requires careful planning and allotment of resources.
Albany’s school foodservice professionals care deeply about making healthy meals that appeal to a wide variety of students while creating a warm and welcoming environment for the kids. They are everyday heroes making a difference in our children’s lives! They understand the importance of nutrition and can often be overheard encouraging kids to adopt healthy eating habits like trying fruits and vegetables. On this Friday and everyday, please remember your School Lunch Hero with a “thank you” when you pick up your Grab-and-Go meals! If you’d like to say thanks with a card, here is a link to printable School Lunch Hero cards.
Stay hopeful and encouraged,
Dr. Frank Wells
Superintendent of Schools
Albany Unified School District