Sumter County cafeteria manager recognized with regional award

Published 4:33 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2018

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The national, non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) has named Larry Jackson from Furlow Charter School in Sumter County School District, the Southeast regional Manager of the Year. Considered the highest honor a school nutrition manager can earn, the award recognizes a cafeteria manager who has demonstrated dedication and ingenuity to improve his or her school meal program.
Going the extra mile comes naturally to Larry Jackson, who takes the time to visit with students during meal service, jotting down their likes and dislikes. Many new recipes have come out of his taste-testing efforts and the student suggestion box he implemented, including healthy desserts such as whole grain chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. Jackson also created a flavor station in the cafeteria so that students could season their foods without increasing sodium levels. Jackson is always serving smiles with a positive attitude and a professional demeanor.
Jackson doesn’t just focus on students, but all members of his school community who utilize the cafeteria, including staff, administration and faculty. His customized salads have been a big hit among adults.
Always willing to help where needed, Jackson volunteers to make all of the food for the school’s pancake breakfast fundraisers, staff birthdays and special occasions in and out of the cafeteria. His generous nature and excellent skillset make him a great leader. He encourages continued education and skill training with his staff, all of whom are members of the Georgia School Nutrition Association (GSNA). He recently served as District 3 President for the 2016-2017 school year, is a recipient of the Gold Scroll Award and ALIRT Award for District 3, and his work has been highlighted multiple times in Georgia Gems, the GSNA magazine that features activities around the state.
To Jackson, community outreach offers an important opportunity to further teach people about the great things going on in school nutrition and in farm-to-school efforts. He has served as chair of the Culinary Committee at South Georgia Technical College, is a former president and mentor for the Boys and Girls Club of Sumter County, member of the Masonic Lodge and chair of Distance Learning Student Appeals with Auburn University. He continues to communicate with his local media, members of the community and local representatives, often inviting them for a special meal during the school year.
“Larry Jackson is a member with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to truly make a positive difference for students,” said SNA President Lynn Harvey, Ed.D., RDN, SNS. “He serves as an excellent ambassador for school nutrition in his schools and in his community.”
The Manager of the Year Award is given in honor of Louise Sublette, a leader in school nutrition in her state and in the national School Nutrition Association. During her 43 years in the profession, Sublette worked in many areas of foodservice — public schools, colleges, hospitals and elderly feeding programs. Sublette dedicated her career to honoring school nutrition professionals and ensuring those who work in school cafeterias have access to professional development opportunities, empowering them to help their school meal programs flourish.
In July, Jackson will be honored during the Red Carpet Awards Ceremony at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.