Jarrett J. Krosoczka, SNA and Random House Children’s Books Celebrate School Lunch Hero Day!



Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner  



Jarrett J. Krosoczka, SNA and Random House Children’s Books Celebrate School Lunch Hero Day!  


National Harbor, MD (April 22, 2014) - On Friday, May 2nd, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author and illustrator of the popular LUNCH LADY graphic novel series, is teaming up with the School Nutrition Association and Random House Children's Books to host the second annual School Lunch Hero Day, a celebration offering students nationwide an opportunity to give thanks to the school nutrition professionals who feed 30 million students every day.

Inspired by his own childhood school lunch hero, Jean J. Cariglia, Jarrett J. Krosoczka created the popular LUNCH LADY series of graphic novels for kids, starring a crime-fighting school nutrition professional and her faithful sidekick, Betty. "Over the years since the Lunch Lady books made their debut, I've seen so many wonderful acts of kindness brought on by kids for their school lunch staff," says Krosoczka. "I'm thrilled to establish an annual holiday when kids across the country can let their school lunch staff know how much they appreciate what's being done for them on a daily basis."

School Lunch Hero Day encourages schools to honor the women and men working in their cafeterias and show their appreciation with cards, bouquets and special recognition for their kind service. Creative ideas, posters, aprons, downloads in English and Spanish, and details are available at www.SchoolLunchHeroDay.com.

"School nutrition professionals offer students so much more than healthy meals," said School Nutrition Association President Leah Schmidt, SNS. "School Lunch Hero Day gives students and schools an opportunity to thank their school nutrition staff for the many ways they serve students and how they make the cafeteria a fun and welcoming place for kids."

School lunch heroes have taken on a new challenge in recent years. Updated federal nutrition standards for school meals require cafeterias to offer larger servings and a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, switch to whole grains and limit the sodium, calories and saturated fat in each meal. School nutrition professionals have been mixing up the menu and getting students excited about eating healthier choices in school cafeterias, all while navigating students' special dietary needs.

The School Nutrition Association reports countless ways in which school lunch heroes show their strengths:

  • At Mead High School in Washington, Mary Brown's soft voice, kind words and wonderful smile make every student feel special. Her manager reports that Mary is just as thoughtful in her food preparation. "She is always very careful with the set up of her line, making sure it looks appetizing and eye-catching for our students. Her veggie trays are colorful and so nicely presented."
  • Brenda Thompson of Raymond Cree Middle School in California has worked for years as a silent partner with the school guidance counselor to help kids in need. As students come through the cafeteria she looks out for any with broken eyeglasses or worn out backpacks or shoes so these students can be discretely connected with special assistance programs. She also collects books, blankets and jackets for a local home benefiting needy children.
  • Sailorway Middle School (Ohio) Cafeteria Manager Evie Hess is always experimenting with different fruit and vegetable recipes to find new student favorites, but recently she launched SNAC, the Student Nutritional Advisory Council, as a way to help students make healthier choices. Evie hosted taste tests with the SNAC team to identify student favorites for the new cafeteria salad bar, including quinoa salad, kale chips and toasted chickpeas. Up next? Evie is bringing in a local chef to meet with the team.
  • At Windham Raymond School District (RSU # 14) in Maine, students love to see Chef Samantha Gasbarro setting up her taste-test station in the cafeteria. Chef Sam whips up delicious new recipes for school lunch, like BBQ made with locally raised chicken, and she's always working to get students involved in the process. Chef Sam teaches a popular afternoon "Cooking Club" and is a frequent guest in classrooms to teach kids about healthy choices. Chef Sam also oversees the district's Weekend BackPack program, which provides students in need with food for the weekend.

The latest title in the LUNCH LADY series, LUNCH LADY AND THE SCHOOLWIDE SCUFFLE, is available now.

About Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Jarrett J. Krosoczkais a two-time winner of the Children's Choice Book Award for the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year, and is author and illustrator of twenty books including the Lunch Lady graphic novel series and the Platypus Police Squad middle-grade novel series. Jarrett's TED Talk on his journey from boy to artist can be viewed on the TED website. He is also the host of The Book Report with JJK on SiriusXM's Kids' Place Live, a weekly segment celebrating authors, books and reading. His work has been recommended by national publications such as NPR, Newsweek, The New York Times and USA Today and his Punk Farm picture book and Lunch Lady series are in development to be feature films. Jarrett lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife, two daughters, and their dog, Ralph Macchio.

About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. To find out more about today’s school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.

Random House Children's Books is the world's largest English-language children's trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, ebooks, and apps, the imprints of Random House Children's Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. The company's website, Kids @ Random (www.randomhousekids.com) offers an array of activities, games, and resources for children, teens, parents, and educators. Random House Children's Books is a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.


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