Brightside: Lake Forest Lunch Lady
FELTON, Del. – Some call her the ‘lunch-lady,’ some even call her mom; Jennifer Lynn Foraker is a woman who doesn’t only whip up meals five days a week at Central Elementary in Lake Forest, but she’s impacting kids’ lives. “She connects with a lot of kids and she never leaves anybody out if they’re having a bad day in the line she just makes sure everybody is okay,” says a 5th grader, Hailey Costlow.
Foraker was recently named the Mid-East regional employee of the year by the non-profit School Nutrition Association. She tells 47 ABC, that it was emotional, to say the least. “If you can say hey, I don’t like the look on your face or you’re having a bad day, Ms. Jen is here, let me have a smile, it goes a million miles,” says Foraker. H.Costlow adds, “I look forward to seeing her and she puts a smile on everybody’s faces, it’s just exciting to see her every day.”
Child nutrition supervisor, Jennifer Montano says Foraker is the definition of humble, and one of the most selfless employees she’s ever worked with. However, she says she can make kids smile goes beyond just her friendly nature. “When I see her interacting with kids here and at the high school, she just connects with them, she knows their names, she’s friendly but she also doesn’t let them get away with things that they’re doing, so she’s like a momma to all of them,” says Montano.
Montano says Foraker developed multiple recipes, and soups, as well as assisted in hiring new employees. However, we’re told what stood out, was Foraker’s help with streamlining the meal-box pick-up system when schools were remote. “We don’t know what their home life is like so knowing that we can provide them with at least two good meals a day, we’re helping them out tremendously,” says Foraker. H. Costlow adds, “Not many people want to make food at a school for kids, but it’s just an important job to have, to make sure kids are fed.”
Foraker says lunchtime is more than just sitting down for a meal, she thinks every day about how much better she can do. “She made sure every kid there because it wasn’t just me and Hailey, there were a couple more kids there and she made sure every other kid there for more food,” says Hailey’s brother and 5th-grade student, Brady Costlow.
We’re told whether it’s volunteering or just lending a helping hand, lunch lady Jennifer is making sure all kids get fed. “So all the leftovers the high schoolers didn’t eat, she would store them up and save them for us to eat in the morning,” says H. Costlow. Foraker adds, “I’ve had a lot of kids say Ms. Jenn this is the only meal my brother and I are eating or this is the only meal or food we’re going to have all week because my mom or dad lost their job.”
Foraker goes on to say, she simply wants to keep working at what she does, but she’ll never stop going the extra mile to get food in the student’s bellies.
We’re told Foraker also runs all of the Lake Forest fundraisings for local charities, which helps with scholarships for two Lake forest seniors. Foraker says she’d like to move up in a leadership role one day, but for now, she’s content with just making other kids happy with her meals, and kindness.