Georgia’s peanut farmers recognize the critical effort school nutrition partners made to feed the state’s most food-vulnerable students when COVID-19 caused a necessary closure of schools. In October, the Georgia Peanut Commission worked with the Georgia School Nutrition Association to seek entries from school districts highlighting their efforts in the areas of innovation, volume and community engagement.
In February, the commission announced that the Glynn County Schools Nutrition Department earned the Most Creative Award for its 2020 Pandemic Feeding Program through the Georgia Peanut Commission’s “Not All Superheroes Wear Capes” Contest.
Shelley Daniel, director of school nutrition, said she is proud of how her staff were able to adjust quickly to the new reality of COVID-19 in March 2020 to make sure students continued to receive nutritious meals during the school closure.
“All of our staff members jumped on board and pivoted quickly to start serving meals curbside using the drive-through meal distribution model. We served over 12,000 meals per week during this time,” Daniel said. “I am so thankful for their passion to serve nutritious meals to our students during the pandemic.”
In addition to meeting the physical needs of their students, the nutrition staff recognized there were emotional needs as well and began to focus on creating a fun and positive environment at the drive-throughs.
“Nutrition staff made encouraging signs and began dressing in costumes like fruits, vegetables and even superheroes as they served more than 830,000 meals,” according to the Georgia Peanut Commission’s website. “While the school serves several peanut products, Smucker’s Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches are a favorite and account for most of their peanut butter usage.”
The department received a trophy, 123 cases of peanut butter to distribute between our 16 schools, hundreds of bags of peanuts and dozens of Georgia Peanuts spatulas.