Nutrition Services Director Kathryn Tucker surprised Bell Elementary Lunch Room Manager Rebecca Crabtree that she had been named Summer Feeding Champion
Nutrition Services Staff Members Casey Holt, Kathryn Tucker, Rebecca Crabtree, and Principal Derrick Harris at the presentation
Principal Harris admired Ms. Crabtree's certficate
Nutrition Manager Rebecca Crabtree named 2018 Summer Feeding Champion
Each year Wayne County Schools serve summer meals to children 18 and under at school, camps, churches, apartment complexes, and at stops along a route within the community. This program makes a great impact to those that participate.
Bridging the gap when school is not in session, more than 2,300 sites in Kentucky provide almost 2.8 million breakfasts, lunches and snacks to Kentucky children annually through the Summer Food Service Program for Children (SFSP).
Wayne County Schools Food Service Department was able to participate regularly with seven sites within the local county during the summer months. They served 2276 breakfasts, 5739 lunches, and 391 suppers during June and July. Past and present local summer feeding program workers have a long-standing record of going the extra mile for Wayne County children who need the meals.
“I am new to the program but even before I came I knew this program was amazing and to be amazing there has to be a group of heroes putting it together. After starting this position in July, I had the opportunity to visit the staff and participate during the back to school event. I watched the staff smile, have conversations, give hugs, with each of the children. I watched them do much more than just feed the children. I watched staff organize, plan, and participate with the children in mind,” said Wayne County Schools Food Service Director Kathryn Tucker.
“This is not a job for them; this is genuine love for what they do. These are the people that give that extra effort and really make a difference in our program and in the community,” added Tucker.
This year, Kentucky’s School Community Nutrition Summer Feeding Program wanted to feature Champions in a video presentation to be used in their celebration special event held September 28th.
“Although all of our staff is amazing, we could only pick one person for our Champion. After discussion with staff and those involved, I found out the following information about Bell Elementary Food Service Manager Rebecca Crabtree. She has been involved in the summer feeding program for five years. She organizes, orders, manages, participates, takes care of her team, and takes care of the children. She handles all the headaches and never loses her smile. She has the ability to take stressful situations and make them look like a’ piece of cake’. She is a light for the program. She is an amazing cook, food service manager, and Summer Feeding Champion,” said Tucker.
Crabtree was surprised when Ms. Tucker, who was joined by District Supervisor and Menu Planner Casey Holt and Bell Elementary Principal Derrick Harris asked her to join them for a special presentation in the cafeteria. They told her that she had been selected as the district’s 2018 Summer Feeding Champion and that her involvement in the summer feeding program makes the local program work.
“I remember your first year and the body of your work since then has been an amazing thing to watch,” said Holt. “You lead by example and you do it with grace. It’s a wonderful thing to see.”
Holt said she had seen children not know where their parents were when they came to the mobile unit and Rebecca walked them back to their homes.
They all agreed that the program is not just about feeding the children, but so much more.
“Kids always want to know, where is Ralph (the driver) and Rebecca in connection with the Lunchbox Express,” noted Holt.
“We have that kind of relationship here. It’s not just a job, it’s a family,” explained Crabtree. “It is the most rewarding way to spend a summer making sure kids get fed.”
Crabtree especially appreciates the summer feeding program crew, which includes: Ralph Reynolds, Paula Sutton, Connie Dishman, Melissa Hancock, Lisa Kammer, Patricia Harmon, and Angel Polston.
Crabtree became employed at Wayne County in 2012 and became the food service manager at Bell Elementary in 2013 where she has conscientiously served the students and staff.
Bell Elementary Principal Derrick Harris said, “Rebecca is so deserving of this award! We are truly blessed here at Bell Elementary to have such a professional and caring person.”
(The food nutrition program is an equal opportunity provider.)
2018 Summer Meals Champions