PERRY, Ga. — Morningside Elementary School in Perry has a cafeteria filled with a busy crew working to get nutritious foods on kids’ plates.
The kids seem to love the food, and the crew loves the kids.
The cafeteria manager at Morningside Elementary, Donna Stewart, makes it her top priority to provide nutritious meals and be a resource to the students.
“I get up every morning to come to work…but it’s not work,” Stewart said. “I’m just excited about coming into work and feeding the children, seeing the kids, communicating with the kids and I forgot I even got paid for that.”
Stewart’s been with Morningside Elementary for the past 18 years and when it comes to serving the kids, the crew has to be there bright and early.
“When you walk in the door at 6 o’clock in the morning, it’s feet to the pavement,” Stewart said. “You’re constantly running around, preparing and looking for safety with preparing the food. You run until 2 o’clock in the afternoon, 2:30 when it’s time to leave.”
After having perfect health inspection scores for the past 20 years, what goes into making the kids happy and their bellies full?
The students get four different entree choices per day with two hot vegetable and two fruit choices. They also have a salad bar the kids can tend to.
“We do different things like your standard pizzas and sandwiches and stuff, but then we also try to change things up,” Houston County School District’s Culinary Arts Area Manager Morgan Dockery said.
But what does this mean for Morningside Elementary? Dockery talked about the importance of being a safe and clean cafeteria for 20 consecutive years.
“It’s incredible that 20 years, really two decades worth, of perfect scores,” Dockery said. “Not just good scores but perfect scores is almost unbelievable. It’s nice that we’ve created a beautiful culture of good food but also a good time in the lunchroom.”
Houston County School District awarded over 20 other schools for posting over a decade of perfect health inspections.