Meet the lunch heroes: the food service employees with the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.
The district and the community honored the workers during School Nutrition Employee Week, which took place last week.
They also received recognition on School Lunch Hero Day, which took place Friday.
District and site administrators thanked the more than 40 food service professionals on a day when the tables were turned (in a good way). For a change, the food service workers were served lunch at Santa Maria, Pioneer Valley and Righetti high schools.
The celebration was also marked by posters on the campuses and in the vehicle pick-up areas.
“They have had a different role this year with the drive-up, bus service and to-go bags,” Food Service Director Brook Stephenson said in a news release. “It was a pleasure to thank them for their hard work and helping to feed the entire community during the pandemic.”
This year, the state’s school nutrition professionals were called to do more than ever before. Meals served last June increased by more than 66 percent than the number in June 2019. And meals served in July 2020 increased by a whopping 360 percent, according to the California Department Education.
In the Santa Maria high school district, food service workers have served nearly 250,000 meals since January.