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The unsung heroes in the Akron High School cafeteria

Posted at 7:36 AM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 07:36:38-04

AKRON, N.Y. (WKBW) — "This job is wonderful. You can't get this anywhere else."

For 14 years, Diane Ernst has been an assistant cook for the Akron School District. This job is what she loves to do.

"That's the best part of the day," Ernst said. "That's the Italian in me, you get to feed people."

Diane is one of the many food service workers in the Akron cafeteria. The school may be temporarily closed, but feeding their students and community doesn't stop.

"They know every child by name, they know the families, they know there's a significant need in the community," said Barbara Goodman, food service director for Akron Schools. "We're glad to do that service for them."

Not only are the food service workers putting in a lot of hours a day, they're also feeding a lot of kids. When this whole thing started, they were putting together 500 food bags. Now, they're up to nearly 1,900 a day.

"When these parents are telling us how much they appreciate it, how much it services them, it really brings it full circle," Goodman said.

Each student gets two meals three times a week, and inside the bags are items like sandwiches and healthy snacks. The need is there and the workers are just doing their part.

"This is probably the most meaningful situation that I've experienced where there's such a bond between the school and the community," said Goodman. "I'm glad we're the ones providing that bond."

They're unsung heroes in the eyes of the community, doing what they can as they wait for their cafeteria to come alive again.