What is the Rethink School Meals Program?

Rethink School Meals is shining a spotlight on school meals and their makers to educate communities about the excellent work being done across the country.

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School Meal Stories

Meet the People Making a Difference

We’re traveling around the country to meet some of the great Child Nutrition Professionals that are making a difference and causing everyone to rethink school meals.

Teresa McAdams - School Meal Hero - Clifton Hill, MO

When we heard that Western Middle School in Clifton Hill, Missouri goes from garden to table with produce they grow on-site, we had to meet the school meal hero behind it all – Cafeteria Manager, Teresa McAdams.

Deb Olson - School Meal Hero - Morris, MN

While searching for School Meal Heroes, we traveled to Morris Area Elementary in Morris, Minnesota to meet Debbie Olson who treats the students to great meals and keeps them smiling.

Charmaine Mollet - School Meal Hero - Stayton, OR

We traveled to Stayton, Oregon to meet School Meal Hero, Charmaine Mollet, Cafeteria Manager at Stayton Middle School. To show the students that she cares about them, Charmaine tries to make every day a festive occasion in her cafeteria.

Cyndi Talbott - School Meal Hero - Palm Beach, FL

Cyndi Talbott is a School Meal Hero from Royal Palm School which is dedicated to Special Needs students in Palm Beach County, Florida. In addition to preparing a menu of regular food, she and her staff prepare specialized meals in various ways including chopped food, thick food and pureed food as well as formula for tube-fed students.

Cyndi treats each student as if they were her own child and is well-deserving of this School Meal Hero Award.

Kathy Jo Belcourt - School Meal Hero - Palm Beach, FL

Kathy Jo Belcourt goes above and beyond in her role as Cafeteria Manager of Royal Palm Beach Elementary. The staff and students all love her for everything she does for them every day.

Josie Salcido - School Meal Hero - El Monte, CA

Preparing 20,000 meals per day for the students of El Monte, California takes a ton of effort. But the district's Central Kitchen Manager, Josie Salcido, makes it look easy with the help of her amazing crew.

Thank You, Ms. Pam - Child Nutrition Professional

Our nationwide search for School Meal Heroes brought us to Lucy T. Davis Elementary in Florence, SC to meet Ms. Pam O'Neal, a.k.a. "Sugar Momma".

Every day, Ms. Pam demonstrates the power of nutrition and the importance of family and love to each of the students and school staff. Watch as we surprise her with the ConAgra School Meal Hero award for her well-deserved recognition.

Thank You, Linda - Child Nutrition Professional

Deep in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky, you’ll find Leatherwood Elementary — and School Meal Hero, Linda Halcomb. Every day, she makes sure that her students get a nutritious meal served with a side of creativity and a smile.

It’s time to Rethink School Meals. Good work is going on in schools across the country. Let’s start by recognizing Child Nutrition Professionals who are making a difference and changing how we think about school meals.

Thank You, Robert - School Meal Hero

Joanne Kinsey, Director of School Nutrition Services for the Chesapeake Public Schools in Virginia, had an idea to use a bus to deliver lunches to students throughout the summer. The district transportation officials said OK, but with one caveat: the bus had to be in use year round.

Robert Scott made Joanne's idea come to life. He designed, engineered and worked hard to turn an ordinary school bus into the Cruisin’ Café / Nutrition Express, a one-of-a-kind mobile nutrition education learning lab. Thanks to Robert’s hard work on the Cruisin' Café and dedication to the students in the district, nutrition education is more fun and memorable for everyone.

Thank You, Anna - Child Nutrition Professional

Everyday across the country, Child Nutrition Professionals go to work behind counters and behind the scene. They play a critical role, ensuring that students have the healthy food they need to learn and grow. But they don’t always get the thanks and recognition they deserve. We decided to change that.

We’re traveling around the country to surprise and thank these everyday heroes that are making a difference. Heroes like Anna, at Cartwright School District in Arizona. Anna works every day to make a difference in her students’ lives.

It’s time to Rethink School Meals. Good work is going on in schools across the country. Let’s start by recognizing Child Nutrition Professionals who are making a difference and changing how we think about school meals.

School Meals Food Sampling

There are a lot of mixed thoughts about school meals. Would someone’s opinion change if these same foods were served outside of a school? We wanted to find out.

So we decided to partner with a school district and offer food straight from the school’s menu and their kitchen to find out the real reaction to school food… when served outside of the cafeteria.

What did we find out? School meals are not only nutritious … they're also delicious! Good work is going on in schools across the country – it’s time to rethink school meals. We’re doing that – one bite at a time.

Thank You, Lesli - Child Nutrition Professional

Everyday across the country, Child Nutrition Professionals go to work behind counters and behind the scene. They play a critical role, ensuring that students have the healthy food they need to learn and grow. But they don’t always get the thanks and recognition they deserve. We decided to change that.

We’re traveling around the country to surprise and thank these everyday heroes that are making a difference. Heroes like Lesli, at Holy Angels School in Ohio. Lesli works every day to make a difference in her students’ lives.

It’s time to Rethink School Meals. Good work is going on in schools across the country. Let’s start by recognizing Child Nutrition Professionals who are making a difference and changing how we think about school meals.