(WTNH) — Kate Murphy is the Food Service Director for Naugatuck Public Schools. This year she was recognized by the Nutrition Association of Connecticut as the Food Service Director of the Year.
Murphy oversees nine schools throughout the district, about 4,400 students.
Murphy tells News 8 since the pandemic started back in March 2020, they’ve given out 700,000 meals. She says, “We closed on a Friday and by Monday we were in mode to do remote feeding.”
They’ve provided each student with two meals a day for five days a week and then some, “And during Christmas break, we sent home meal packs and April break sent home meal packs so the students didn’t have to go without.”
Typically the job comes with a lot of pressures but the COVID-19 pandemic amplified everything. “It’s not a matter if a family needs it, it’s also trying to be consistent with school. We want to keep as much normality as possible.” Murphy explained.
They had to figure out how to feed the students and when during remote learning days, “We had parents that couldn’t make it during the daytime to pick up meals for their kids so we started serving meals at 6 a.m. passing out meals for the day so parents could come and pick up before school started.”
Murphy was also recognized for starting multiple programs to encourage students to eat healthily and try new foods. She has worked to incorporate farm-to-table meals as well as provide farmers markets at several schools throughout the district.