NEW YORK (WABC) – The city honored 35 “New York Hunger Heroes” who have gone above and beyond to ensure children have access to nutritious food every day.

Mayor Eric Adams, Chancellor of the Education Department David Banks and No hungry children New York presented the awards on Tuesday.

Professionals from the Department of Energy’s Food and Nutrition Administration come from every city school district and food service administration teams.

For the first time, this year’s Hunger Heroes features inspectors and enforcement specialists in addition to dedicated cafeteria staff who directly serve 800,000 meals to students each day.

Chancellor Banks said: “Whether they work in our schools or in the warehouses that provide us with food and our various managers, they are all part of this ecosystem of love and support that allows our children to flourish and be all they can be. they should be.”

With more than 400,000 children in New York facing hunger, or one in four, the heroes who plan, prepare and serve school meals are on the front lines of this crisis.

Mayor Eric Adams is personally connected to one of these heroes.

“My mother worked in school catering; I saw how hard she worked. And I know how hard each of our Department of Education and Food Service cooks work every day to bring our children an extra side dish, a smile and a word of encouragement,” said Mayor Adams. “This year, one in four children in our city may experience hunger , and that is why it is very important that our “Hunger Heroes” help fight hunger in our city every day. Not all heroes wear capes, some wear aprons, and today, we are proud to honor these heroes.”

As much as the food itself, the sense of camaraderie between students and staff is vital to student success.

“Our food service workers are a constant presence and play a key role in the lives of our students,” Chancellor Banks said. “In addition to preparing and serving delicious and nutritious food, they are friends, guardians and caring adults who look after our children and ensure they receive the nutrition and support they need. There are no words to express my gratitude for the Hunger Heroes award. today and to all the food service workers in schools across the city who do important work for our young people.’

School lunch helpers like Beverly Prescott, who said, “If I can bring good feelings or help a child, feed a hungry child in any way, then I’ve done my job.”

The kitchens are open all year round, during holiday breaks and throughout the summer.

“No matter what challenges kids may face at home, they can count on our Hunger Heroes to provide wholesome meals every school day, often going above and beyond to make sure New York City’s kids have a healthy foundation for of learning,” said Rachel Sabella, Director, No Kid Hungry New York. “These are exemplary professionals who are vital to school communities and we are grateful for their work. At No Kid Hungry, we know how much goes into planning, preparing and serving school meals, and we celebrate the contribution of every foodservice professional.”

The 2023 New York Hunger Heroes honorees include:


District 1: Rosa Serrato, School Lunch Assistant (PS 184 Shuang Wen School)

District 2: Svetlana Krasinikova, cook (PS 40 Augustus Saint-Gaudens)

District 3: Leonard Newby, Senior School Lunch Assistant (PS 113 Anthony J. Pranza)

District 4: Rajpaul Singh, School Lunch Assistant/Cook (Park East HS)

District 5: Raylette Grant, Cook (PS 133 Fred R. Moore)

District 6: Wendoli Santos, Senior School Assistant/Head Cook (PSMS 278 Paula Hedbavny School)


District 7: Christine Hunt, School Food Service Supervisor (PS 25 Bilingual School, 154 Jonathan D. Hyatt, 161 Juan Ponce De Leon and P168x)

District 8: Jacqueline Beezer, School Lunch Assistant (MS 301 Paul L. Dunbar)

District 9: Annabelle Bobb, School Lunch Assistant (PS 28 Mount Hope)

District 10: Julie Zambito, School Food Service Manager (PS 56 Norwood Heights, PS 307 Luisa Pineiro Fuentes School of Science and Discovery, Walton High School Complex and Mount St. Ursula Academy)

District 11: Nicola Jackson, Senior School Aide/Cook (PS 483 Matilda Avenue School)

District 12: Yolanda Brown, High School Lunch Aide/Cook (Bronx Career and College Preparatory High School)


District 13: Juan Taveras, cook’s assistant (PS 133 William A. Butler)

District 14: Paulina Valdez Bautista, manager (PS 147 Success Academy, JHS 50 John D. Wells and Williamsburg High School)

District 15: Ori Urami Yukimi, Senior School Assistant/Cook’s Assistant (PS 130 The Parkside School)

District 16: Wanda Hali-Reid, School Lunch Assistant (Brooklyn High School of Law and Technology)

District 17: Brian McKenzie, School Lunch Assistant/Cook (MS 61 Dr. Gladstone H. Atwell Middle School)

District 18: Beverly Prescott, School Lunch Aide/Cook (PS 233, Langston Hughes School)

District 19: Alison Boston, School Lunch Assistant (Van Sicklen Community School Campus)

District 20: Giovanna Spata, Senior School Lunch Assistant (Franklin D. Roosevelt High School)

District 21: Lisa Marchese, School Lunch Aide/Cook (Edward R. Moore High School)

District 22: Evelyn Shane, Senior School Aide/Cook (PS K811, Connie Lekas ​​School)

District 23: Zannez Nash, school nutrition manager (Dr. Jacqueline Peek-Davis School, Christopher Avenue Community School, Brownsville Ascend Charter Elementary School and Metropolitan Diploma Plus High School)

District 32: Lauren Munro, Senior School Aide/Cook (Humanities School IS 347)


District 24: Barbara Targonska, School Lunch Assistant (PS 290 ACE Academy for Scholars)

District 25: Angela D’Amico, Senior School Aide/Cook (IS 237, Rachel Carson)

District 26: Diane Kakosis, School Lunch Assistant/Executive Chef (Francis Lewis High School)

District 27: Jashoda Sanasi, School Lunch Assistant (Far Rockaway High School)

District 28: Keisha James, Senior School Aide/Cook (JHS 217 Robert A. Van Wyk)

District 29: Janice Sutherland, Senior School Aide/Cook (PS 33 Edward M. Funk)

District 30: Patricia Hai, senior school aide/cook (PS 166, Henry Gradstein School)

Staten Island

District 31: Miranda Saad, School Lunch Aide/Cook (College of Staten Island High School)


Thomas Flynn, Accountability/Compliance Coordinator

Flawless Semila, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points Advisor

Anthony Chancellor, Head of Distribution

READ ALSO | Top 7 ways to protect yourself from consumer fraud


* Get news from eyewitnesses

* More New York news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or idea for a story we should cover? Submit it to Eyewitness News using the form below. When you attach a video or photo, terms of use apply.

Previous articleMan charged in connection with shooting in Quincy
Next articleRailway Square represents the businesses that come to her living room