Jackson ensures kids eat healthy
By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist
The week of Oct. 12-16 was National School Lunch Week. This year’s slogan was “get in the game with school lunch.”
As parents, grandparents and caregivers, we should all be very informed as to our children’s meal choices. From the first foods introduced we all should strive for exposure to all food groups (as age permits). So many health problems have been proven to occur in children who do not have proper nutrition. Snacks can be healthy, too!
Joyce Jackson, lunchroom manager at Creek View Elementary in Alabaster, has quite an impressive food service history. In 1993, after one year of volunteer work, Jackson was asked to join the CVES staff. Jackson said “I’ll do it for a couple of years,” and she stayed for 10.
Jackson left CVES to go to Montevallo High School, stayed five years and then headed to open the new Calera High School lunchroom. Recently, she had the opportunity to “come home to CVES” and be the manager.
Jackson believes it is the child nutrition program’s responsibility to make sure every student has a well-balanced and attractive meal. CVES serves 600 students for lunch and another 250 for breakfast.
“We are always open to smart suggestions on our food appearance, nutritional value and taste,” she said. Eight employees work together to insure excellence in the CVES child nutrition program. They even furnish a “grab and go meal” for those who prefer a boxed lunch over a hot meal.
Married to Ray Jackson for nearly 34 years, they have two children. Son Jason, age 31, is executive director for the 911 Board for the state of Alabama. He and wife Elizabeth have children Sera, age 4, and Andy, age 9 months. Daughter Jessica is a Shelby County school teacher and is married to Seth Gandy. Jackson and her family believe in the local school systems, and believe those systems have helped them in their successful careers.
“I love having the privilege to make a difference in someones life every day. It can be as simple as a hug or a smile,” she said. “People may not remember your face, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”