“I wanted to bring it back because as a group, especially in a small community like Henry County, whatever we can do, no matter how small it may seem, can make a big difference,” said Toni Jackson, the cafeteria manager of Campbellsburg Elementary School and an organizer of the School Nutrition Chapter. “If we have the energy and the excitement, we can make a difference for our families.”
Jackson said the group sold rolls at Christmas, held a coat drive over the winter and plan to organize another fundraiser at Easter by selling rolls and cinnamon rolls. The money collected through their sales serves two purposes – community outreach and continuing education
“We collect and donate funds to families in need in Henry County, whether they are going through a difficult time with a prolonged illness or have lost everything in a house fire,” Jackson said, added the group might be called upon to help high school students with prom and graduation expenses. “Secondly, funds could be used to support education for nutrition department staff members. It’s important to share ideas and learn new techniques – will only better our kitchens in general by doing continued education.”
Jackson said that the group currently has about 10 members from schools across the county, who serve the chapter on their own time. Membership is open to all employees of the school nutrition department. The chapter also serves to connect staffs across the county to build community.
“First and foremost, we’re here to feed bellies and feed minds. We know our kids, and we love our kids. I want them to think of this place as home, too,” Jackson said. “We’re one of the few people at school who will see and talk to a kid every single day of every year they’re in school. We have a lot of interaction with the kids. So we just want to help our kids in any way we can.”
Jackson said information about Easter rolls and cinnamon rolls would be available soon. And in the meantime, she wants the community and her school family to know about the chapter and to contact them if their services are needed.
“We’re here to help,” Jackson said. “If you need something, give us a call.”
Jackson can be reached by calling (502) 845-8639.