Chartwells K12 Celebrates 25 Years of School Lunch Heroes Serving Up Happy & Healthy in Cafeterias Across the Country
Frontline Workers Honored for National School Lunch Hero Day with Book Donation and Annual Celebration
As kids advance from grade to grade with new classes and different teachers, the dedicated lunch ladies and men in the school cafeteria are often one of the few constants throughout the academic journey. Whether they’re at the ready with a spoon, spatula, or welcoming smile, these school lunch heroes go above and beyond to not only serve foods kids love to eat, but to ensure that students leave the cafeteria happier and healthier than they came in.
This Friday, May 6th, Chartwells K12 celebrates National School Lunch Hero Day to recognize its 16,000 chefs, dietitians, and foodservice workers who serve 2 million meals a day in schools across the country. In honor of School Lunch Hero Day and Chartwells’ 25th anniversary this year, they are hosting a #HatsOfftoOurHeroes tribute for their teams, sending a special 25th anniversary edition hat to every associate and donating 2,500 copies of the book, Lunch Lady 2-For-1 Special: The First Helping, one book to every elementary school they serve.
“We wouldn’t be who we are today without our School Lunch Heroes serving up happy and healthy to kids across the country every day,” said Belinda Oakley, CEO of Chartwells K12. “For 25 years, our team has been behind the scenes keeping students fed and showing endless passion and dedication to the kids and communities we serve. From the start of the school year to summer vacation, and even through a global pandemic, our associates have been going above and beyond and their inner hero keeps shining through.”
School Lunch Hero Day is a national program dedicated to providing well-deserved recognition to school foodservice professionals for their role in keeping children well-fed, happy and healthy. It was founded by Jarrett J. Krosoczka in 2013 and is celebrated the first Friday of May each year. Krosoczka is also the author of the acclaimed Lunch Lady book series, chronicling the exciting adventures of the heroic Lunch Lady. To commemorate their 25th anniversary this year, Chartwells is donating 2,500 copies of Krosoczka’s book to their elementary school partners.
“This is the tenth School Lunch Hero Day, and I am so incredibly honored that Chartwells will be gifting my graphic novels to elementary libraries in honor of the real heroes in the school cafeterias,” said Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady series. “We too often take for granted all of the work being done to educate and care for our kids. The people working so hard in our school cafeterias make sure that our students’ bellies are full so that they can be ready to learn throughout the day!”
“As Chartwells celebrates a major milestone for our 25th anniversary, we wanted to make this celebration even more special for our School Lunch Heroes,” said Oakley. “We hope these books will be a lasting tribute to their extraordinary efforts and give kids a fun way to learn more about these real-life superheroes.”
Beyond their national School Lunch Hero Day celebration, Chartwells teams across the country are hosting book donations and special events to honor the heroes of the cafeteria.