A hero is a “person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.”
As we get excited to celebrate the school nutrition heroes around the country, we want to take a few minutes and get into the details of why we think the word “hero” is appropriately applied.
First, Courage. Courage is grace under pressure. When the world seems uneven and out of balance, when life seems to be moving at an uncomfortable pace, those with courage bring strength, balance, and fortitude to those in need.
As we’ve navigated through this worldwide pandemic, the lives of children across the country have been shifted. Some students and families haven’t had any problem managing the pandemic while others have had life changing and severe challenges placed in front of them.
Imagine our surprise when a parent reached out to talk about the stability given to their family when their life felt turned upside down.
“My children have had a tough time adjusting to this pandemic. My work schedule has been hectic and the stability of seeing their teachers and classmates everyday has really taken a toll on them.
When I drove up to the school with the kids today and they saw (kitchen manager), they were so happy. Their smiles made me smile. On the drive home, they kept talking about the menu items and how much they missed eating those foods at school. They were so excited to have lunch today. Moments like these are fleeting and too few but I’m so thankful for what you do to bring stability to our lives. Thank you for your school lunches!”
You are a school nutrition hero because this past year you have brought strength, balance, and stability to your students, your families, and your communities.
Second, Outstanding achievement. It’s not unique to hear about a nutrition program that has served hundreds of thousands or even millions of meals in a certain timeframe. Doing it during a pandemic is equally impressive. I think what makes your service so outstanding is that you did not have any prep time to practice and rehearse your delivery models.
For many of you, the plan was received and you had but a few hours to determine the best way to feed as many students as possible. And, you set out and got the job done. New delivery models, new packaging requirements, new process. Bundles and kits. Delivery and drop off. No obstacle stood in your way for too long.
You are a school nutrition hero because you were outstanding in your creativity in feeding students. Miraculous!
Finally, Noble qualities. Economists always try to discern incentive. If, as their ideology follows, they can determine motivation and incentive, they can start to predict behavior. Well, economists should study school nutrition professionals over this past year -- it would be a fascinating research project!
School nutrition professionals have sacrificed so much over this past year. Their noblest wish wasn’t to find gold at the end of the rainbow, they just wanted to feed more students.
Our collective faith in humanity has been pushed, poked, scratched, and punched during this time. Social, political, and economical turmoil has touched everyone. Bonnie Tyler just might have said it best, “Where have all the good men (and women) gone? … I need a hero. I’m holding out for a hero ‘till the end of the night.”
To anyone searching for renewed faith in humanity, you can turn to school lunch professionals. Without any selfish behavior, they’ve put it all on the line to reach our students and our future.
As we step into National School Lunch Hero day -- our team at Nutrislice warmly praises your heroic efforts over this past year.
You have been courageous. You have been outstanding in your achievements. Your noble qualities have been a salve to a country desperately in need of a hero. Well done!
- Michael Craig Co-founder / Chief Customer Officer, Nutrislice