Shelby Public Schools
MI School Food Heroes has demonstrated the passion in feeding school children no matter the learning environment. And Shelby Public Schools Food Service is feeding more than their students during the pandemic; they provide meals to the community. Through the Ladder Community Center, at-risk adults with compromised immune systems and mental health disabilities, and quarantined families are receiving meals. And they have done so much more! We will let fellow food service director of Whitehall and Montague Schools, Dan Gorman tell you about Mary Rose Vanas, Food Service Director, a true Hero, leading the efforts in Shelby Public Schools:
Mary is an incredible woman who works hard to meet the nutritional needs of her community in Shelby. Mary is the Food Service Director for Shelby Public Schools. She has been amazing since the start of the pandemic in March. Like many other schools, Mary and her staff were ready to serve emergency meals to her community. Mary did serve the meal packs to the families, but she also made sure there were “made from scratch” meals in every meal pack. Mary engaged her community to set up many additional sites to better reach all families. Mary jumped on board and signed up to deliver Farmers to Families Boxes. These included fresh fruits and vegetables, and fresh dairy boxes. As we entered the fall, the rules changed on how schools could serve kids but that did not slow down Mary; she found other programs and offered families meals and started a Go Fund Me page so she could offer meals to adults, not just children. I am also a food service director and I am continually amazed at Mary’s passion for feeding hungry kids. She will go to any length to serve her community. While I am thinking or planning the next step as changes are happening, Mary is already implementing new ways to serve.
Mary is the first to recognize the efforts of her entire team! She says, “Each member of the food service team is a hero!” As of mid-November, the team has served over 500,000 meals. The community, food service team, and the school want to help ensure that no one goes hungry.