Photo Courtesy of Google
The City has honored Jasoda Sanassie, school lunch helper at Far Rockaway High School (pictured), as a 2023 NYC Hunger Hero.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Eric Adams, City Schools Chancellor David Banks, and No Kid Hungry New York on Tuesday recognized 35 “NYC Hunger Heroes” — extraordinary professionals from the City Department of Education’s Office of Food and Nutrition Services who have gone above and beyond to provide kids with access to nutritious meals every day.
These 35 individuals come from each of the city’s school districts and food service administration teams. For the first time, this year’s Hunger Heroes include inspectors and compliance professionals in addition to the dedicated cafeteria staff who directly serve 800,000 meals to students every day. With more than 400,000 children in New York City facing hunger, or about one in four, the heroes who plan, prepare, and serve school meals are on the front lines of this crisis.
“My mother was a school food worker; I saw how hard she worked. And I know how hard every one of our DOE cooks and food service workers works every day to deliver for our children with an extra garnish, a smile, and a word of encouragement,” said Adams. “One in four children in our city might experience hunger this year, and that’s why it’s so important that our Hunger Heroes are helping to combat hunger across our city on a daily basis. Not all heroes wear capes, some wear aprons, and, today, we are proud to honor those heroes.”
“Our food service workers have a constant presence and play a pivotal role in the lives of our students,” added Banks. “Beyond preparing and serving delicious and nutritious food, they are friends, caretakers, and caring adults who check in on our kids and ensure they receive the nourishment and support they need. There are no words to express my gratitude to the Hunger Heroes being recognized today and to all of the food service workers in schools across the city doing this critical work for our young people.”
2023 Queens Hunger Heroes:
- District 24: Barbara Targonska, School Lunch Aide (P.S. 290 A.C.E Academy for Scholars)
- District 25: Angela D’Amico, Senior School Lunch Aide/Cook (I.S. 237 Rachel Carson)
- District 26: Diane Kokosis, School Lunch Assistant/Cook in Charge (Francis Lewis High School)
- District 27: Jasoda Sanassie, School Lunch Helper (Far Rockaway High School)
- District 28: Keisha James, Senior School Lunch Aide/Cook (J.H.S. 217 Robert A. Van Wyck)
- District 29: Janice Sutherland, Senior School Lunch Aide/Cook (P.S. 33 Edward M. Funk)
- District 30: Patricia Khayi, Senior School Lunch Aide/Cook (P.S. 166 The Henry Gradstein School)
“No matter what challenges children may face at home, they can count on our Hunger Heroes to provide nutritious meals every school day — often going above and beyond to make sure New York City’s kids have a healthy foundation to learn,” said Rachel Sabella, director, No Kid Hungry New York. “These are exemplary professionals who are vital to school communities, and we are grateful for their work. At No Kid Hungry, we know how much goes into planning, preparing, and serving school meals, and we celebrate the contributions of every food services professional.”