Hanover lunch lady inducted into Virginia’s Lunch Hall of Fame
HANOVER Co, Va. (WWBT) - Hanover school cafeteria manager Renee Jewel is getting some major recognition from No Kid Hungry Virginia and the county.
Jewel, who works at Washington-Henry Elementary School, was recently inducted into Virginia’s School Lunch Hall of Fame.
She says it’s an honor she never expected.
“It was a complete shock. I had no idea that it was an even out there or such a thing,” said Jewel.
Jewel has been a cafeteria manager at Washington Henry Elementary School for five years. Each day, she treats the kids like they are her own.
“My rule of thumb is I don’t give them anything that I wouldn’t eat or that I wouldn’t serve my child,” said Jewel.
And treating them with love caught the attention of one particular parent.
“When our kids are at school, we’re not with them. So, we rely on all of the school staff to keep them safe,” said parent Alley Martin.
Safety is the number priority for Martin because her daughter has severe food allergies.
“It can be daunting if you’re in the food service, and you kind of shy away and be like I’m not sure we can accommodate her,” said Martin.
Jewel stepped up to the plate.
“She gathered labels of anything my daughter could purchase. She got ingredient lists from the manufacturers and gave them to me after my first request, so I knew she was different and wanted to help,” said Martin.
It was the extra mile of kindness and compassion that inspired Martin to nominate Jewel to be inducted into Virginia’s School Lunch Hall of Fame.
“It was a no-brainer. I wanted to nominate miss Jewel for that,” said Martin. “It may seem small, the things she does, but it really does make a big impact.”
“I was very surprised and very touched that what I do matters that much,” said Jewel.
While the recognition is nice, Jewel says she’ll continue to do what she does best and can’t wait until the new school year begins.
“Continue to do me and take care of these kids,” said Martin.
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