School Lunch Heroes

School Lunch Heroes
Rochester Public Schools

Not all heroes wear capes in a school district; we have heroes all over the district, in the office, the classroom, and the lunchroom. Today, let’s celebrate our SNS staff during the 10th annual School Lunch Hero Day.


Our Student Nutrition Service (SNS) staff are everyday heroes who strive to ensure that our students are in a safe and welcoming environment and get the nutrition they need to succeed in school. They prepare meals for thousands of students every day, ensuring that the food is fresh and tastes great while being healthy, and follow federal nutrition standards.

There are various stations of SNS that make the operation move smoothly. Within the lunchroom, staff workers operate the grill, prepare the salad bar and fresh sandwiches, and clean and provide fresh fruit, to name a few jobs. A district chef develops, then our team members prepare and cook various recipes according to menus, special dietary or nutritional requirements, and the number of portions to be served. We also have two district dieticians who work to ensure the foods we offer don’t violate dietary restrictions while also tasting good for the students to enjoy. 

SNS extends past school lunches as well. SNS serves PrairieCare Medical Group, a mental health facility for young adults, Rosa Parks Charter High School, the Edison building, and catering for events like board meetings.

“This year especially, I would like to recognize and acknowledge the Student Nutrition Services staff members across the District for their hard work and commitment to feeding students during the pandemic,” SNS coordinator, Sherri Knutson said. “We thank them for their willingness to be front-line essential workers, for their flexibility in adapting to alternative meal service methods, and for their continued desire to feed RPS students nutritious meals.”

Theresa Splittstoesser is the SNS manager at John Marshall High School and strives to make the lunchroom feel like a place to relax and enjoy a meal during a busy day.

“I want people to know that we put a lot of thought into what we do and make here,” Theresa said. “We start working at 6 o’clock in the morning for service at 11 o’clock. We serve upwards of 1400 lunches in two and a half hours which I think is just remarkable.”

Our SNS staff are a crucial part of the operations of a school and the growth and health of our students. Today, we thank our SNS members for all their hard work, ensuring that we are adequately fed each and every day. They are heroes in our school, not just today, but every day.