When kids pay for a school lunch, they are expecting a meal that is both delicious and nutritious. At Westmoreland County’s School Board meeting back in December, the county’s public schools received the 2019 Dorothy S. McAuliffe School Nutrition Award, from No Kid Hungry in Virginia. Many other schools across the state, including nine other repeat winners, had also received the award. It celebrates school divisions in Virginia that have, in its own words, “gone above and beyond the operating Federal child nutrition programs, and achieved exceptional participation in the school breakfast program.” This is the third time that Westmoreland County’s Public Schools have won the award.
Superintendent Dr. Michael Perry presented the recognition, noting to Chairman Fallin that, “I am very proud of this award, because a lot of times, we know that our major focus is instruction, and we try to recognize our bus drivers and maintenance crew, but food has always been, for me as a student, teacher, principal, and superintendent, probably the most important thing for me.
“When I go to a school,” he continued, “one of the first places I go is the cafeteria. For many students, this is the one place they’ll get something to eat.”
The goal of the award was to take steps toward ending child hunger, and according to Dr. Perry, Virginia currently leads the nation in doing so.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate these school districts, but we take special pride in ours,” he continued, before calling on Hazel Hickman, the Food Service Supervisor, to receive the award, along with School Board Chairman Ralph Fallin.
“If I remember correctly, Dr. Perry,” the chairman spoke up, “we have 132 school divisions, and to be one of only 10 in the state says quite a bit for our service and for Ms. Hickman.”