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Lunch Lady Hustle to raise money for scholarships

Child Nutrition staffers, who are are passionate about feeding bodies and fueling minds, have organized the inaugural Lunch Lady Hustle 5K Run/Walk to support student scholarships. “In the past, we have given thousands of dollars to our public school students and hope to give away much more,” said Bridgett Thomas, vice president of the Fayette County School Nutrition Association, which has over 140 members.

Previous fundraisers ranged from fruit sales and cookbook sales to Restaurant Night. “This year we want to do something healthy that benefits the community. We tried to think of something to do outside where we’d feel safe and be able to keep our distance. This is more fun and a chance to meet other people,” said Thomas, the cafeteria manager at Deep Springs Elementary.

To prepare for the Sept. 18 event at Coldstream Park, Thomas and several colleagues gather twice a week to walk at the park and at The Arboretum. “Exercise is great for the body and de-stresses you from work,” she said. “It’s helping build a team, and you learn about people’s families.”

Some schools and district departments in Fayette County Public Schools are signing up teams. The 5K and the quarter-mile kids’ dash are also open to the public. “We’re excited to get the community involved, to come out and show school spirit and raise money for the kids,” Thomas said.

  • Sign up now – The early bird rate, which includes a T-shirt, is available through Aug. 31.

Proceeds will go toward three awards: the Judy Hale Memorial Scholarship for high school seniors, $500 for college; the Mary Browning Wright Memorial Scholarship for middle school students, $200 for summer camp; and the Fannie Kinzer Tuttle Memorial Scholarship for elementary students, $200 for summer camp. “Our kids need this, and we want them to know it’s available,” Thomas said.

The scholarship application window opens in the fall, and awards are given out in the spring. The process is promoted through word of mouth and via guidance counselors and teachers, who often know which students need help the most. The seniors receive a writing prompt about child nutrition, such as how the pandemic has affected food service and school meals. The elementary/middle essays are written by the adult who nominates the student, such as a teacher, parent, custodian, principal, or bus driver.

Did you know? The Fayette County School Nutrition Association provides learning opportunities and activities throughout the year, and assists chapter members with the certificate and credentialing programs for professional growth. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the chapter has also been creative in providing virtual options for members, families, and friends.

Contact: Bridgett Thomas, vice president of the Fayette County School Nutrition Association

(Posted Aug. 13, 2021)

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