Turning the tables: Farm-City Committee feeds area school Child Nutrition Program workers

Cullman Farm-City Committee member Phillip Garrison serves the “lunch ladies” of West Point High School at Thursday evening’s dinner at Northbrook Baptist Church. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – They get up as early as 4 a.m. each weekday, and are at work by 7, preparing hundreds of breakfasts and lunches, and even some early dinners for the students of the Cullman County and City school systems. On Thursday, though, they got to sit on the other side of the table. Child Nutrition Program workers from across both area systems were honored Thursday evening with a dinner sponsored and served by the Cullman Farm-City Committee, partnering with Northbrook Baptist Church, which provided the venue, kitchen and cooks. The nutrition workers had the opportunity to sit back and relax while committee members served plates of chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes and rolls, along with drinks and desserts.

2019 Farm-City Co-Chair Pat Floyd told The Tribune, “We are recognizing all of the lunchroom employees of the county and city school systems, and just recognizing them for all that they do, being as it’s a food-related source. We’re recognizing them for working with our children, feeding our kids, trying to provide a balanced meal for them. You know, some of these kids, that’s the only decent meal that they’ll get all day. We’re just honoring them because of all the hard work that they do. If you’ve never worked in a lunchroom, it’s a lot of hard work.”

Farm-City does a salute to some special group each year, such as last year’s honorees whose families have farmed in Cullman County for more than 100 years. This year’s choice combined two great themes: food and children.

Said Floyd, “We’re just trying to recognize someone that works with kids, that tries to teach kids about balanced nutrition and farm to fork, and all that kind of stuff.”

Committee member and former County Economic Development Director Cherrie Haney added, “I just think the lunchroom ladies are people that don’t get recognized. They feed our children; in fact, now they feed them three meals a day: they have breakfast, lunch and ‘lupper’–is what they call it. They see all the kids every day, and I think they’re very deserving of this because they don’t get recognized enough for what they do.”

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W.C. Mann