The Kiski Area School District Lunch Ladies serve more than just healthy meals.
The Kiski Area School District Food Services Department was recently recognized for its efforts in programs related to child nutrition.
The department of approximately 50 employees received the 2021 Child Hunger Hero Award from the Community Food Bank of Greater Pittsburgh last month for its efforts to make an outstanding contribution to improving access to food for children. of the district.
The district received a silver level award, indicating outstanding service. This is the first time the district has received this award.
Of the Alle-Kiski Valley schools, Deer Lakes School District also received the Child Hunger Hero Award silver level and Freeport Area School District received a bronze level award.
Public and private school districts in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset and Washington counties were eligible.
Food service administrative assistant Joy Spagnola said the award was appreciated.
“It’s wonderful to know that all of the hard work our staff put into making sure students in our district are fed is being noticed, especially with all of the changes that have had to be made due to the pandemic,” said Spanish.
Spagnola said students have responded during the pandemic by serving themselves and coping with food shortages. Staff had to individually wrap many foods and utensils.
Kiski Area Director of Food Services, Allison Douglas, is responsible for managing daily school menus and operations for more than 3,400 enrolled students in the district.
During the school year, his department served more than 99,500 lunches and 213,000 lunches during three high school noon periods and two high school noon sessions.
Douglas said the program was evaluated by the food bank, based on programs that addressed food insecurity during the summer of 2021 and the 2021-22 school year.
“We are proud and thrilled to have our food service staff recognized for all of their efforts and hard work throughout the school year,” Douglas said. “Closing the meal gap would be impossible without this exceptional group of employees.”
About 45% of students in the district are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
Douglas said contributing factors to winning the award are sponsorship of a district-wide summer foodservice program, operating alternative breakfast models, offering free meals as part of their community eligibility supply program, providing nutrition education to students, and participating in a fresh fruit and vegetable program.