Recognizing Kentucky Principals That Champion School Meals Throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic
Principals across the nation work every day with one thing in their minds: the success of their students. They understand that ensuring kids have three meals a day is essential for their development. For this reason, principals have always been a critical part of ending childhood hunger in America.
Today, principals face an extraordinary set of challenges with staff shortages, burnout and the task of keeping staff and kids safe in school as the pandemic continues.
This Principal Appreciation Month, we’re highlighting several school leaders in the School Breakfast Champion Class of 2020 who continue to work hand in hand with school nutrition staff and No Kid Hungry to ensure kids have the nutrition they need to learn and succeed.
Dane Ferguson, Burns Middle School, Owensboro Kentucky – Mr. Ferguson recognizes the importance of students starting their day with a healthy meal, so they are ready to learn. Mr. Ferguson has been working at Burns Middle for 13 years and noticed that students were not eating breakfast because they either arrived late or were not hungry. Mr. Ferguson was presented with the opportunity to add the Second Chance Breakfast program to Burns and he jumped on it. As a result, Mr. Ferguson has noticed that the students feel better, have less visits to the health room, and they are more awake and ready for the day.
Amie Gallion, Madison County Middle, Richmond Kentucky – Ms. Gallion has supported the creation and continuation of the school’s Second Chance Breakfast and Breakfast in the classroom programs. After seeing how the new program significantly increased participation rates in 2019, Ms. Gallion helped the school continue the program. She is described by her colleagues as a leader and a friend.
Robert Lightning, Bowling Green Junior High School, Bowling Green Kentucky – Mr. Lightning has been exceptional about helping promote the school meal programs. When Mr. Lightning started at Bowling Green, traditional breakfast was the only model being made. Mr. Lightning knew that something had to be done because the school was only feeding 1/3 of its students. Mr. Lightning is an outside the box type thinker and implemented grab and go breakfast. There are now carts of nutritious breakfast at the end of different hallways so that students can grab their breakfast on the way to class.
This month is a recognition of those leaders who are behind the scenes, making decisions to ensure all staff are safe, school meals are out the door and kids have the food they need in times of crisis and not.
As 1 in 6 kids in Kentucky could be living with hunger, we thank school principals who understand the importance of school meals.
Join us to support school principals across the state helping kids get the meals they need to be their best. Use this toolkit to celebrate the principals in your district that are making a difference.