Sharing the Credit: Acknowledging Food Service Staff for Implementing Positive Changes

Lunchroom workers are the face of the school meals program. Accordingly, when interventions are successful in the lunchroom, it is important to give credit where credit is due. By recognizing your team’s efforts to improve student participation, increase selection and consumption of target foods, and  advance other healthy-eating initiatives, you can boost staff morale and keep positive momentum rolling for future initiatives. Below are some simple and inexpensive actions you can take to express appreciation for the successes in your school’s lunchroom.

  • Recognize high-achieving cafeteria staff members during a school board meeting or school staff meeting.  You can even invite the Superintendent, school administrator, or a school board member to say some encouraging words to highlight the positive changes in the lunch line.
  • Write a piece in your district newsletter or send a letter to the editor. Make sure to include details (the why, who, where and how). Click on the link below for an example of a letter to the editor. 
  • Write a press release about your successful Smarter Lunchrooms Makeover.  See this link  for tips on writing a press release.  It’s also worth sharing your success with school districts across the state, so send a short write-up about your success to your state department of education so that other districts can learn from your experience.
  • Apply for the Healthier US School Challenge, where your school cafeteria(s) have the chance of being recognized by the First Lady and the USDA.
  • Include examples of the positive changes when writing grants or other proposals to make your application standout from the rest.

Recognizing your staff’s achievement is one great way to keep your staff engaged. This simple action can keep your staff open to trying new ideas and keeps staff motivated to stick with them.



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