Throughout the district, the dedicated workers in Nutrition Services serve scholars each day, helping to keep them fed with healthy and delicious meals and making schools a better place. School Lunch Hero Day is May 5 and serves as a time to recognize the contributions of Nutrition Services.
Interested in becoming a School Lunch Hero? View open positions on our careers website.
Dana Belfrey has worked with Nutrition Services in Osseo Area Schools for almost 20 years. She has worked at Zanewood Community: A STEAM School for four years, working her way up to currently serve as a manager.
“I love kids and I love cooking. I just like to see their faces when they see what we have that day on the menu or when they’re eating,” Belfrey said.
A highlight for Belfrey in working for Nutrition Services is the scholars who are so excited to see her each day, coming to hug her and give her pictures they drew for her in their classes of her serving food.
“I make sure to let parents know that we are here to take care of your kids, and feed them and make sure they get their nutritious meal that they need,” Belfrey said.
Belfrey’s favorite thing about working at Zanewood is the people and how much everyone works together as a team, with Principal Pendelton coming and checking on them back in the kitchen to see how they are doing.
In her free time, Belfrey has a true passion for cooking, doing cooking shows on Facebook and helping to take care of the elderly.
Maren Knight started with Nutrition Services in 2015 after working in the district as an Education Support Professional since 2007. She always loved to cook and bake and decided she needed a change. She worked at Brooklyn Middle STEAM School and currently works at Birch Grove School for the Arts, filling in as manager.
“My favorite part is the kids. I just like talking to the kids and getting to know them and trying to make their day a little bit better,” Knight said.
Each day, Knight talks to and builds relationships with the scholars, trying to learn each of their names. She strives to create a place that each scholar feels comfortable, making a community table in a school lunch form.
“We put our heart and soul into making a nutritious lunch so students are well fed and can learn,” Knight said. “No child can learn when they are hungry, so we try to give them a variety of options so there is something for them to eat.”
Each day, Knight works with a team of two other people to check emails, prepare food for breakfast, prepare fruit and vegetables for lunch, do the dishes, serve the food and prepare for the next day's meals.
In her free time, Knight enjoys cooking and baking, running and participating in bible study at her church.