School Lunch Hero Day

Posted: 5/5/2021

School Lunch Hero Day on May 7, provides an opportunity to thank those who provide healthy meals  for South Dakota’s students each school day. Below are just a handful of the 170 School Lunch Hero nominations that we received. 

Justine “Charlie” Giannonatti, Harding County School District

“Justine Giannonatti, also known as Charlie to our student body, is our head cook.  She always has a smile on her face and goes out of her way every day to make sure our students are happy and eating healthy, delicious food.  She stretches her dollars as far as she can and works to incorporate local food sources when available.  She is best known for her cinnamon rolls and the smell of bread baking throughout the building.  She is willing to help anyone and everyone.  She cooked and then helped deliver lunches last spring when we went to online learning without a second thought.  We can't imagine our school without her!”  Elizabeth Henderson


Becky Eisenbarth, Lemmon School District

“Aside from serving nourishing food, Becky serves up a welcome environment with her positive attitude and friendship.” Kim Anderson


Beth Hanson, Rutland

“The whole staff went above and beyond during the changes that have taken place during the last year. From extra cleaning duties to adjusting serving practices to preparing sack lunches, even after the school year was dismissed for summer break. It takes a lot of hard work to feed so many kids!” Jen DeVaney


Jenni Glenn, Horace Mann Elementary, Sioux Falls

“Jenni is responsible for seeing that all items are available and sets up the tubs for the teachers to pick up.  She has a "sparkling" personality and a great sense of humor.  She works in the background doing things many of us take for granted.  She is a super hero at our school.  Her laughter and positive attitude is infectious.  We are blessed to have her as part of the Bridges team.  Go Jenni!!” Janet Monlux


Erica Bratland, Willow Lake School District

“Erica started her first year in the lunchroom and was thrown into figuring out meals for our rural district during Covid. She was creative and organized and made everything work without a hitch.” Lindsey Tellinghuisen


Deb Miles, Montrose School District

“Deb has gone over and above during the pandemic. When school shutdown she prepared hot lunches for the kids each day of the week. She prepared menus that could be transported and would still be hot when the students received them. She is a true lunch hero!!” Cindy Christensen


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