The Tennessee School Nutrition Association has announced state award winners, recognizing an exceptional school nutrition employee, manager and director, and Huntland’s Lori Wilkerson secured the coveted managerial grade.
Wilkerson, a nutrition manager at Huntland School, has been selected as Tennessee’s School Nutrition Manager of the Year.
She was to be honored at the Tennessee School Nutrition Association’s annual conference in June and the SNA’s annual national conference in July. Unfortunately, both conferences have been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Melissa Livesay, Franklin County nutrition director, said the accolades speak well for the school system, and Wilkerson is an employee who always goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure Huntland students and staff are well taken care of.
“Lori is an absolute joy to work with,” Livesay said. “She accommodates all requests with a smile and always has a kind word for everyone.
“She provides a welcoming cafeteria and works hard to provide a variety of wonderful meals for Huntland students and staff. Lori always goes the extra mile for the school nutrition program.”
While the nomination process began before COVID-19 school closures, the TSNA continued to recognize the widespread efforts of school nutrition professionals across the state, working on the frontlines to ensure needy students have had access to healthy meals during the pandemic.
TSNA President Vonda Bradford explained the significance of nutrition-program employees.
“School nutrition professionals have always played such an important role in student success, providing nutritious meals to fuel their busy days and a warm, welcoming cafeteria environment,” she said. “But in the midst of COVID-19 school closures, these women and men have willingly taken on the role of frontline heroes.
“The dedication and passion of these award winners is a testament to the work being done by school nutrition professionals across our state.”
The SNA is a national, nonprofit professional organization representing more than 55,000 school nutrition professionals across the country.
Founded in 1946, the SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students.
For more information on school meals, visit www.SchoolNutrition.org/SchoolMeals.