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Workers recognized by pair of U-46 designations

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 recognized members of the food and nutrition as well as transportation staff at its October meetings.
  The week of Oct. 14 was designated as National School Lunch Week, a week designated by the U.S. Congress in 1962 to celebrate the federal takeover of what traditionally has been a parental responsibility through the National School Lunch Program which provides free and reduced-price meals to students funded by the nation’s taxpayers.
  A press release from U-46 stated that about 18,700 students receive a school lunch daily in the district. It stated nine elementary schools currently have salad bars with an additional 10 opening in January, and secondary schools have specialty services for customized meals.
  The district also recently opened a garden which provides some of the vegetables for the salad bars according to Elena Hildreth, director of the food and nutrition services.
  At the Oct. 7 board meeting, Hildreth said: “We’ve actually hosted a couple field trips to the garden and have a couple more coming, so it’s very cool…. It’s been really well received.”
  President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on this year’s school lunch week.
  “Since its creation, the number of students served by the program has quadrupled, and school cafeterias now serve nearly 5 billion lunches annually,” Trump wrote. “This successful Federal, State, and local partnership would not be possible without the assistance of thousands of food service professionals, school administrators, community members, and parents. As a nation, we are grateful for those who go above and beyond to ensure all children are able to focus on their education and development instead of worrying about their next lunch.”
  The transportation department was recognized at the Oct. 21 meeting for National School Bus Safety Week which was the week of Oct. 21 as designated by the National Association for Pupil Transportation.
  “We appreciate the board recognizing us each year,” said Jeffrey Prowell, director of transportation. “This year, I want to make sure to mention not only the drivers and assistants but the mechanics and dispatchers, the routers and office staff that make the operation run every day.”
  According to a district press release, U-46 transports about 27,000 students on 350 district-owned buses which make 5,100 stops daily and drives 4.5 million miles annually. The release also encouraged the public to drive cautiously when near or around school buses and school bus stops.





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