By Roxanne “Roxi” Knops - SNA School Nutrition Employee/Manager Representative 2016-01-29 18:15:30
What Is Love? This month we celebrate Valentine’s Day, and between prepping heart-shaped cookies and hanging Cupid decorations, I find myself with a little time to ponder the age-old question: What, exactly, is love? In my life, love has been found all around. Love was in that first embrace of myMom and Dad when I was born, and it has carried on throughout my life—amid happiness, sadness, disappointment and accomplishments. Then, it’s in my sister and brother, who were my first playmates and first enemies. And we can’t forget the unconditional love of family pets—Pal, Lady and Ginger—with whom I played and cuddled. Plus, there’s extended family, like my grammas and grampas, aunts, uncles and cousins, who lived right across the street, and were more like additional brothers and sisters. In school, I found love in a young, beautiful kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Johnson, who made me feel comfortable, safe and welcome at school, away from my Mommy—and with whom I’m still friends today. I also discovered puppy love with Mark in the fifth grade. We were really just best friends, but he once gave me a little silver ring from the 5 and 10 Cent Store on Valentine’s Day. Mark died way too young, but he has held a special place in my heart since 1966. High school and college sweethearts came and went, and then, when I least expected it, a friend introduced me to the cute boy with blue eyes. Boom—I was in love then, and still today after 38 years of marriage. Sometimes it still feels like the first time we met. My own children came from that first love, and my love for them becomes even fiercer as they grow up. “Mama Lion” wants to protect her young, but knows they have to learn heartbreak, failure and disappointment in order to know joy, happiness and love. Grandchildren, by name or by blood, bring a love that cannot be described, only experienced. I see myself, husband and daughter in the eyes, actions and hearts of my four grandsons—and soon they will have a baby sister! And, finally, I feel love for the students. As a “lunch lady,” I have such fondness for all the students I have served over the last 21 years. Food is a universal way of sharing love, and those of us who work in cafeterias are lucky to be on the receiving end of love from our students, too. In particular, I miss little Gracie’s hug each day after entering her PIN for lunch. She goes to a different school now, but on Halloween, her dad brought her to our house to trick-or-treat—and get a hug. That is love. NSBW 2016 Set Your Alarm! Next month, don’t forget to celebrate National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) March 7-11! Use the 2016 NSBW theme, “Wake Up to School Breakfast,” to share the valuable message that a healthy school breakfast brings a sunny, healthful start to the day for students. Download SNA’s campaign support resources at www.schoolnutrition.org/NSBW and don’t delay in putting your plans together today. After this year’s event, send in a brief report and photos of your NSBW activities! Send them by email to email@example.com or by “snail” mail to NSBW Wrap, School Nutrition, 120 Waterfront St., Suite 300, National Harbor, MD 20745. [Note: Submission of photos grants permission to use the images in the magazine and other SNA materials.] SNA Election Remember To Vote It’s time to vote for the future of your Association. The annual election for positions on the SNA Board of Directors and Leadership Development Committee will take place over a two-week period (February 15-29) through use of a secure online voting website. SNA members will choose from 21 candidates whose SNA experience, leadership talent and passion for child nutrition have earned them a place on the ballot. Employees and managers make up the largest segment of SNA’s membership, so it’s vital that your voice is heard! For details about how to vote, as well as biographies of all the candidates, log on to www.schoolnutrition.org/snaelection. More Than a Job Careers in School Nutrition Do you know a college student, recent graduate, someone who is contemplating a job change or a retiree looking for a second career? Encourage them to visit www.schoolnutrition.org/careers to learn more about the opportunities available to school nutrition professionals and gain access to job postings in SNA’s Career Center. Also available is information on internships, scholarships and more.
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