Posted: Monday, October 24, 2016
“It makes me extremely proud to serve beautiful food to the students. It really does bring tears to your eyes when you know you are part of why they are eating healthy meals,” said League Academy Cafeteria Manager Tammy Bell.
Greenville County Schools is celebrating National School Lunch Week October 24-28, 2016 to recognize the 750 food service operators serving 21,000 breakfasts and 59,000 lunches each day to students in 100 locations across Greenville County.
Students are eating healthier lunches, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Food and Nutrition Services (FANS) staff of Greenville County Schools. Greenville County Schools has eliminated all highly processed chicken products on our menus, have moved to purchasing all fresh fruit (with the exception of applesauce), offer Universal Free Breakfast to all 75,000 students, and provide Free Breakfast and Lunch to all students at 21 of our locations in low-income areas through the Community Eligibility Provision. FANS staffs are scratch or speed-scratch preparing the vast majority of our recipes, offer a soup and salad bar three times every week, and offer a fresh fruit and vegetable bar twice every week. Through these efforts, these incredibly dedicated employees are ensuring that all Greenville County Schools students are provided the highest quality school meal possible.
Tammy Bell has worked in the food service industry since she was 16 years old. Currently serving as cafeteria manager at League Middle Academy, Tammy says the students are why she loves her job so much.
“The students really enjoy coming in and seeing us smile,” she said. “Building those relationships is important because they see that when you treat them with kindness, they will do the same in return. They learn from the adults that are teaching them.”
Tammy has befriended many of the students, but one of her favorites is a boy she calls her social butterfly. “When I first came here, he was one of those students who would go to each food line and talk to all of his friends before he would eat,” she explained. “He recently had an incident where he was on crutches. I was able to get his food for him and bring it out to his table. Doing small things like that makes a big difference,” she said.
During her time with Greenville County Schools, Tammy has advanced through the ranks as a rover, food service operator, assistant manager, and manager. “When I was first a rover, I told myself that one day I would be a manager. I accepted new positions that allowed me to grow professionally. Just like the students learn from adults, I try to set a good example so my employees to continue to grow and learn from me.”
“From my first day working in the Food and Nutrition Services Department, I was given training to be a successful part of a team. As a manager, these trainings allow me to bring new ideas and information back to share with my team,” she said.
“Our program was just named one of the three healthy school foodservice programs in the nation to watch in an online national blog for teachers and educators,” said Director of Food and Nutrition Services Joe Urban. “I am extremely proud of our accomplishments. But most of all, I am proud of the 750 food services staff members who have answered the call for more nutritious meals. We are on a mission to reinvent the school foodservice industry. Our staff not only accepted the challenge to be the greatest school foodservice program in the country, they continue to raise the bar higher every day. They are committed to providing our students with the greatest dining experience possible each and every day.”
Research shows that children who have healthy diets and get regular physical activity are more likely to perform better academically. These healthy habits may also play a role in helping children improve concentration, attendance, classroom behavior, and self-esteem, and lower obesity rates.
Interested in seeing what our cafeterias serve for lunch? View/download this month’s Lunch Menus.
Food and Nutrition Services Facts
- 750 Food Service Operators
- 59,000 Lunches Served Daily
- 21,000 Breakfasts Served Daily
- 52% of Students on Free/Reduced Price Lunch
- 100 Food Service Operations
- 18 Central Office Food Service Staff
- 10 State and National Awards for Food Service/li>