By NICHOLAS SAKELARIS | CoServ
School cafeteria workers have been essential during the COVID-19 pandemic because even though schools were closed, they continued to provide North Texas children with much-needed meals five days a week.
When schools shut down in March, more than 450 cafeteria workers in Lewisville ISD set up emergency feeding locations to hand out food to anyone 18 and younger. They provided meals to youths, no questions asked – even if they didn’t attend LISD schools. On May 25, they transitioned to the summer food service program with about 144 workers at 14 sites handing out breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Lewisville’s cafeteria workers – all of them contractors from Aramark – received special recognition last week from CoServ’s Community Engagement Team in the form of goodie bags and drinks. The theme of the "drive-through thank you" was simple: "You haven't stopped serving others. Now it's our turn to serve you!" More than 150 workers pulled up to the LISD administrative office on Main Street and to an elementary school where they received snacks and a cold bottle of water or mineral water.
“A positive that has come from this coronavirus experience is that we see that heroes come in all forms – and these cafeteria workers are definitely heroes to the children and families that they are keeping fed,” said Mario Zavala, Community Engagement Coordinator for CoServ. “When everyone is struggling, little things mean a lot and our hope is that this kind gesture and smile reminds them that CoServ appreciates their work.”
Aramark always prepares summer meals, and workers adapted to social-distancing guidelines this year by putting the food in the trunk. They also have some children who come up on bicycles or walk.
“We appreciate CoServ for taking some time and stopping by and helping us recognize our employees for the work they do,” said Malia Dartez-Nowlin, Marketing and Communications Manager for Aramark. “I know for the Aramark employees, the most important part of what they do is feeding kids.”
Throughout May, CoServ’s Community Engagement team provided similar meals to the cafeteria workers throughout Denton ISD.
These examples are just another way that CoServ gives back to those who serve and help others during this unprecedented time.