Arizona Food Service Director Named 2017 School Nutrition Hero

The national, non-profit School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) has recognized Food Service Director David Schwake, MS, RD, SNS, of the Litchfield Elementary School District #79 (AZ), as one of five 2017 School Nutrition Heroes.

David started multiple initiatives in his district, including a backpack program and the creation of school gardens, along with the support of the local Kiwanis Club.

David Schwake, MS, RD, SNS

He has been a board member of the Association of Arizona Food Banks for nine years, bringing his child nutrition program expertise to help improve student access to healthy foods.

The organization credits David for helping them find opportunities to educate communities, schools and parents about available resources, including the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and afterschool programs.

He is currently in his third year as board president for Aqua Fria Food & Clothing Bank and is a past board member of the Saint Mary’s Food Bank Alliance (SMFBA).

Schwake collecting food for the local food pantry.

“David has a driving need to make sure kids are fed healthy meals, and in an environment that they can learn,” said Troy McNemer, former board chairman of SMFBA.

During his time with SMFBA, David was instrumental in their Kids Café program, which has continued to grow over the years, serving thousands of children breakfast, lunch and afterschool. David volunteers his time every other Saturday to coordinate a mobile pantry at one of his district’s schools and has recruited volunteers from his local Kiwanis Club. He picks up food from various grocery stores and bakeries in town to help stock the pantry as well.

“David’s passion, caring and dedication makes him an ideal School Nutrition Hero,” said School Nutrition Association CEO Patricia Montague, CAE. “His leadership and creativity, both in his district and in community food programs, is admirable.”

All of the 2017 School Nutrition Heroes will be recognized at SNF’s Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes, during School Nutrition Association’s 45th Legislative Action Conference in Washington, DC in April.

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