D6 Nutrition Services Director named Southwest Regional Director of the Year
"We are very proud of Danielle and the whole Nutrition Services team," said Superintendent Dr. Deirdre Pilch. "During COVID-19, Danielle and her staff stepped up in a huge way, ensuring that our students had access to food even when we switched to remote learning. She is innovative and involved, and truly represents what is best about District 6."
From the School Nutrition Association:
(Arlington, VA - May 3, 2022) – The national, non-profit School Nutrition Association (SNA) has named Danielle Bock, SNS, Director of Nutrition Services for Greeley-Evans School District 6, Colorado, the Southwest regional Director of the Year. The award recognizes the extraordinary contributions of school nutrition directors who manage effective school meal programs providing healthy, appetizing meals to students.
In the height of the COVID pandemic, Danielle Bock’s commitment to her school nutrition program and the families it serves was remarkable. When schools shut down suddenly in 2020, Bock and her team initiated ways to continue providing student access to healthy food. With the help of the district’s transportation department, she was able to implement a mobile feeding program.
Bock’s work before the pandemic hasn’t gone unnoticed either. At one point, the nutrition department was facing a negative student meal account balance of over $100,000. Knowing the majority of that money could not be repaid by families, she helped launch a partnership with the district’s fundraising foundation to cover the losses.
Since coming to Greeley-Evans School District 6 in 2014, Bock has been an advocate for the nutrition staff. She recognized that nutrition department team members were underpaid and has worked tirelessly to get those frontline workers’ wages increased. Her efforts have been successful; nutrition employees in the district feel more valued and retention rates have greatly improved.
Bock’s dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are also seen as a large part of the turnaround in the department. DEI efforts in the nutrition department have spurred a higher level of employee satisfaction and overall sense of belonging. She recognized the majority of her staff identify English as their second language and is working to become proficient in the Spanish language.
Danielle Bock is also making a positive impact on the community outside the school cafeterias. She developed a partnership with the Department of Special Education that now provides opportunities for students with intensive functional learning needs to gain real world foodservice experience working in the Nutrition Services Department. These students come to the department’s Central Production Kitchen weekly to individually package fresh produce for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program sites – a win-win for Bock and the students. Her more recent community project is working to establish food pantries in all of the district’s 37 school sites.
“Danielle Bock has a passion for school nutrition and for serving her community. Her efforts to further Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are an inspiring example and her commitment to advocate for the program and her students is worthy of recognition,” said SNA President Beth Wallace, MBA, SNS.
Danielle Bock is an active member of the School Nutrition Association on local and national levels. Her involvement in the Colorado School Nutrition Association’s (CSNA) Public Policy and Legislation Committee has helped enact legislation to free school meals to a large percentage of students across the state of Colorado. Under her guidance, Bock’s employees have learned the importance of professional development and career growth. She also serves on SNA’s Public Policy and Legislative Committee, leading advocacy efforts at the national level.
The regional Director of the Year Award was created to recognize school nutrition directors who exhibit an extraordinary commitment to their school meal programs. The directors are responsible for maintaining the quality of the program through student interaction, menu planning and a commitment to serving nutritious, tasty and well-balanced school meals. Through effective oversight of all aspects of foodservice operations, including budgeting, staffing, training, marketing and community outreach, school nutrition directors ensure the overall success of school meal programs.
Bock was announced as the Southwest regional Director of the Year during a School Lunch Hero Day (SLHD) online awards ceremony on May 2. The accomplishments of Bock and all of this year’s SNA award winners will also be recognized in a special publication and promoted in SNA's annual SLHD social media campaign on Facebook.com/TrayTalk and TrayTalk.org.
About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 50,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. For more information on school meals, visit www.SchoolNutrition.org/SchoolMeals.