It is of course referring to the pandemic.
When schools closed, the kitchens remained open. More than 80 workers were still preparing meals – 28,000 lunches and 8,000 breakfasts a day – from March to July 2020 for homebound students. And when schools reopened in the fall, nutrition services ensured that distance learners were fed as well.
“There was definitely a call to action to feed the students,” Standish said.
The ministry’s distribution center made this work possible. The large warehouse in West Lincoln, which includes industrial freezers and docking stations, held a lot of food when supply chains were disrupted. The center was designed by Zumwalt and one of her proudest achievements, she said.
This year, free lunch and breakfast meals will be offered to LPS students through federal funding, the district announced in May. LPS also offered free meals last year starting in September.
On May 12, Governor Pete Ricketts paid tribute to the outgoing principal during a visit to Hartley Elementary School as part of Nebraska School Food Service Employee Appreciation Day, presenting Zumwalt with an Admiral of Nebraska.
Now Zumwalt, who describes herself as 65, has said she is ready to hand over as long as she is still healthy. On the retreat program: traveling, cycling and attending football matches.