Dallas ISD cafeteria workers serve up sides of wisdom during National School Lunch Week

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DALLAS – Schools across north Texas are recognizing National School Lunch Week. Many school districts have been making changes to guarantee students have daily access to well-balanced meals and nutritious option.

The access to a healthy school lunch is a mission that has been top of mind for a group of cafeteria workers in Dallas ISD.

The halls of Piedmont Global Academy are busy when the school bells ring. Students rushing to class or to lunch. Some workers call the cafeteria the nerve center of the campus.

”I think I always had a love for the cafeteria,” said Yarlette Bryant the Cafeteria Supervisor.

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Some staffers call Bryant the “superwoman” who is leading a tight and loving ship.

"My super power is taking care of others,” Bryant said.

October 9-13 is National School Lunch Week. Bryant and her team is promoting whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and of course their students.

"I just love to talk and communicate with the kids,” Bryant explained. “I think sometimes I get a little silly with them, coming through the line saying, “What would you like today? Coming right up!” I just love having fun with the kids.”

Piedmont Global Academy’s cafeteria staff knows its stuff. They have many years of experience under their belts. The lunch ladies say their love for food and for the children keep them motivated.

Shirley Dial has been working in the school’s cafeteria 43 years.

Dial said, "When I get up in the morning, and I say I’m not going to work, but I come anyhow, and I feel better when I get here. So, it makes my day.”

Bryant began her career in Dallas ISD cafeterias in 1977. She served countless meals over the years.
“In the trillions,” she joked. “I don’t know if I can count that high.”

Bryant is a breast cancer survivor, and a lunch lady who loves her job.

"I think I have a knack for encouragement,” she added. “Encouraging the kids to eat a healthy meal.”

The cafeteria workers say they are making a difference one meal at a time.