Highland Park school nutrition professionals thanked by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., May. 9, 2013
Gov. Dannel Malloy declared Friday, May 3, to be School Nutrition Professionals Day in Connecticut, and the students and staff of Highland Park Elementary School were joined by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman in celebrating their lunch professionals. “We had lunch ladies when I was little, and they always had a smile and were happy to be there,” Wyman told a cafeteria full of second-graders and school staff. “I think they’re just wonderful.”
Wyman read the proclamation by the governor, which recognized nutrition professionals. “School nutrition professionals must balance many roles and follow numerous federal, state and local regulations to ensure safe and healthy meals are available in schools and offer students a well-balanced meal of low-fat or fat-free milk, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein,” it read. “School nutrition professionals serve almost 1 million meals each day in Connecticut in order to help our children succeed. Research consistently demonstrates that the provision of a nourishing breakfast helps students perform better academically, have lower rates of absenteeism and tardiness, fewer visits to the nurse and a reduced number of behavior issues.”
The lieutenant governor presented the proclamation to the lunch professionals who were present: Teri Thompson, Anna Podrebartz and Janice Foster. Also at the ceremony was Nicholas Aldi, food service director for Manchester public schools, who ensures that Highland Park complies with the high standards the state expects of food services for students.
The day of recognition was initiated by the School Nutrition Association of Connecticut, or SNACT. With about 400,000 students being fed in the state daily, SNACT believes recognition for the service of their member school nutrition professionals is well deserved. “Between preparing healthy food, adhering to strict nutrition standards [and] navigating student food allergies, school nutrition professionals have a lot on their plate,” said SNACT President Susan Maffe. “These professionals work long and often physical days to ensure every child is properly fed, and deliver service with a smile.”