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Governor Whitmer recognizes two individuals for School Lunch Hero Day on May 6

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Posted at 10:44 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 22:44:04-04

LANSING, Mich. — As part of School Lunch Hero Day on May 6, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has recognized two people who work in Michigan’s school food service industry. They are Cinamon Marker from Elkton Pigeon Bayport Laker School, and Nathan Bates from Boyne Falls Public Schools.

Marker is the Food Service Director at Elkton Pigeon Bayport Laker Schools. She joined the school food service program six years ago, and has been in her current position for the past three years. Marker came to the district as a specialty chef through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to Table grant. During her leadership, the number of breakfasts and lunches in the district has increased dramatically. The district currently serves about 900 students and staff.

Bates is the Chef/Food Service Director at Boyne Falls Public Schools. He joined the district nine years ago. Bates has a strong relationship with farmers, and emphasizes on highlighting seasonal produce. The school district purchases directly from local farms and farmers markets. Some farmers deliver products directly to the school.

“Our school food service heroes do so much more than put food on trays” said Gary McDowell, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director. “They provide healthy, nutritious meals that fuel bodies and minds, encourage kids to expand their pallets by trying new goods, and focus on foods that are locally grown, healthy, and nutritious. By purchasing Michigan grown and produced products, schools help make the important farm to fork connection, teaching kids where their food comes from, and, at the same time, they are supporting local farms and businesses, keeping local economies strong and preserving farmland.”

“On School Lunch Hero Day we honor the hardworking men and women who provide lunches to millions of students across the nation,” said Governor Whitmer. “I’m proud to recognize Michigan’s 2022 School Lunch Heroes, Cinamon Marker from Elkton Pigeon Bayport Laker and Nathan Bates from Boyne Falls Public Schools. Thank you for all you do to keep our children happy, healthy, and well-fed. At the state-level, let’s keep working together to make historic investments in our students and schools to improve every kid’s in-class experience, renovate and rebuild our school facilities, and retain and recruit talented on-campus staff.”

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