FDACS and Commissioner Nikki Fried Honor Florida’s School Lunch Professionals

Tallahassee, Fla. –Last week, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and its Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness honored five school nutrition professionals for the 2021 School Lunch Hero Week. The week-long celebration wrapped on a high note with School Lunch Hero Day, Friday, May 7.

Five school lunch heroes were selected as part of the School Lunch Hero campaign. The Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness partnered with The Dairy Council of Florida and No Kid Hungry to host School Lunch Hero Experiences at each of the five schools the school lunch professionals call home.

“School nutrition professionals are crucial to the success of Florida students because healthy bodies lead to ready minds,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “These School Lunch Heroes undertake tremendous planning and prepare and serve more than 300,000 million nutritious meals to nearly 3 million of our students each year.”

See the winners and links to watch their School Lunch Hero Experience events below.

  • Kay Thompson from Bryceville Elementary School – Watch here.
  • Alicia Smith from Liberty Pines Academy – Watch here.
  • Charla Hudgins from Millenia Gardens Elementary – Watch here.
  • Kaneisha Stokes from Ormond Middle School – Watch here.
  • Jeneane Rhuda from Seminole Elementary School – Watch here.

Commissioner Nikki Fried congratulated each School Lunch Hero individually and celebrity chefs, including Richard Blais, Carla Hall and Tabitha Brown, won the day with a special virtual surprise. Watch this fun-filled, action-packed video here.

Stay connected with all things School Lunch Hero at: SchoolLunchHeroes.com.

About the Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness: The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer services and its Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness conducts, supervises and administers child nutrition and commodity food distribution programs that are carried out using state or federal funds. We provide outreach, guidance and training to child nutrition program sponsors, schools, school food service directors, parents and teacher organizations, and students about the benefit of fresh food produced in Florida. Our mission is to ensure that every child in Florida has access to a healthy, nutritious meal each day; increase awareness and consumption of Florida’s agricultural commodities; reduce food insecurity among Florida’s most vulnerable populations; and encourage healthy lifestyle among Florida residents.