DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’ve been the administrative assistant to the director of Lewiston Public Schools Nutrition Program for 10 years so I’ve seen my share of heroes. The director, Alisa Roman, is a true example of what it means to step up and jump in with both feet. She’s been leading the most amazing team of nutrition staff throughout this COVID-19 journey.

The timing is so perfect to recognize her and the staff. Each year the School Nutrition Association recognizes school lunch staff for the work they do every school day of every school year. SNA designated the first Friday in May as “School Lunch Hero Day.” 

Check it out at https://tinyurl.com/ybuwae3s

When I was growing up, we called them “lunch ladies.” However, today there are just as many men working in our school kitchens.

Here’s why I feel these people should be recognized. School nutrition staff:

  • Always pull through to get meals prepared for that last minute need.
  • Know every child on a first-name basis. 
  • Know when a child is having a bad day and handing out that tray of food is just the thing that leaves a smile.
  • Are forgotten, not intentionally, during most schoolwide recognition ceremonies.
  • Are asked to prepare something special for staff appreciation (they’re staff, too!). 
  • Are at the front line combating the serious reality of food insecurity in our world today.
  • Don’t look for recognition, but they sure do appreciate it when it comes their way.
  • Are at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Lewiston school lunch heroes have continued to operate emergency food preparation sites at all school locations. They may not see the faces of each child receiving a meal, but the love is poured out as each one is prepared.

— Jeanie, No town

ANSWER: I absolutely agree. One of my daughters was just telling me this morning how grateful she is that her children’s school is providing meals. The children are really enjoying them and the continued connection to their elementary school. Kudos to all the hardworking heroes out there.

DEAR SUN SPOTS:  In regard to memories about Sim’s restaurant in Feb. 28 Sun Spots, when we were growing up, my parents were the owners of The Vac Shak in Lewiston. Dad traveled a lot and when he was home, he often worked late in his basement vacuum repair shop.  When the business had a good week, he would often drive to Sim’s on Minot Avenue in Auburn, usually at closing time, and bring home lobsters and clams. Mom had a lobster pot and lobster tools handy in the kitchen ready to do the cooking. If there were any leftovers Mom made a great lobster stew or Newburg.

— Nancy, Sabattus

ANSWER: Little stories like this are what make the world go ’round. Sun Spots is a great place to send your recollections of “the good old days.” For those of us who have been here a while, these memories are very relatable.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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