Monika Griner, our State Agency Area Consultant serving School Nutrition Programs in Southwest Georgia shared this heartwarming encounter from the field. She titled it "I Met a Hero Today", telling the story of the resilience of Georgia School Nutrition Professionals.
You'll want to read to the end.
"I want you to meet Ms. Leeo Thomas from #ThomasCountySchoolNutrition.
Ms. Leeo works as a kitchen assistant with Thomas County School Nutrition, Thomasville, Ga. Ms. Leeo is 85 years “seasoned" and has spent 33 years of her life feeding children. Upon meeting Ms. Leeo, I could see a genuine smile and light in her eyes. She is a beautiful person inside and out and unless she shared her age you may not realize just how mature those fine lines of wisdom are that frame her beautiful face. I pondered to myself what history she might hold and stories she might tell about the “good old days"….the days of cooking from scratch, the days of feeding hungry children who appreciated everything on their plate, the days of “walking to school in the snow one way up hill that stretched for miles barefoot",,,,the days we have heard our ancestors share through generations. Ms. Leeo has been and continues to be a hero to many. She arrives to work daily, is absent very little, and has no plans on stopping any time soon.
She began her career at Magnolia-Chappelle, transferred to Hand-In-Hand Primary and is now stationed at Thomas County Middle School. Ms. Leeo stated that she does not like to miss work and has recently taken her Covid vaccine so that she can safely remain on staff without missing a day. I asked her what inspired her to continue to work well past the norm and she responded, “I love what I do, I love to be in school and I want these kids to know that they need to get their education!", which she shared enthusiastically. It took me only minutes after meeting Ms. Leeo to recognize her sweet soul and that she truly loves being part of the Thomas Co. School Nutrition program. Her peers shared, she is always smiling and laughing, but is quick to tell some of her younger co-workers to pick up the pace!
I met a hero when I met Ms. Leeo Thomas…and I am so proud I did. Ms. Leeo will continue for as long as possible...feeding generations of Thomas County Yellow Jackets.