School Way Café Employee is School Lunch Hero

School Way Café Director Heather DeMeola, left, congratulates School Lunch Hero Kaneshia Stokes, right.

(above) School Way Café Director Heather DeMeola, left, congratulates School Lunch Hero Kaneshia Stokes, right.

School Way Café Kaneshia Stokes is a School Lunch Hero – literally!

Stokes, a School Way Café assistant at Ormond Beach Middle School, performed the Heimlich Maneuver to save the life of a co-worker in the school cafeteria.

She was honored May 6 as one of Florida’s 2021 School Lunch Heroes. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services partnered with the Dairy Council of Florida and No Kid Hungry to present the award in an uplifting ceremony during School Lunch Hero Week.

Stokes’ co-workers and students cheered her on as the award was presented. Attendees included Volusia County Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Fritz, School Way Café administrators, and School Board Member Carl Persis, who once served as principal of Ormond Beach Middle School.

“She is a true, true hero in my eyes, and it is such an honor to work with her,” said School Way Café Assistant Director Valerie Hansen.

“You not only did a wonderful thing, you serve as a great role model for all of these young people,” Superintendent Fritz told Stokes.

For winning the award, Stokes received a $2,000 cash prize from No Kid Hungry, a Tampa Bay Buccaneers Prize Pack from the Dairy Council of Florida, a School Lunch Hero Trophy, a Certificate of Appreciation signed by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, and a One-on-One Chef Experience with Chef Paula Kendrick of the state Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness.

See the video about Stokes’ heroic act: https://youtu.be/0I29yZ5qaac.

School Way Café is a department of Volusia County Schools, serving 2.6 million breakfasts and 5.4 million lunches to students each year. School nutrition professionals have gone above and beyond this year, keeping students safe and well-fed during the pandemic. They save the day, one meal at a time!

VCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Fritz, left, and School Board Member Carl Persis, right, congratulate School Lunch Hero Kaneshia Stokes, middle.

VCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Fritz, left, and School Board Member Carl Persis, right, congratulate School Lunch Hero Kaneshia Stokes, middle.

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