Burkhardt Earns Second National Food Service Award Named One of Five ‘School Nutrition Heroes’

Burkhardt Earns Second National Food Service Award Named One of Five ‘School Nutrition Heroes’
This is the image for the news article titled Burkhardt Earns Second National Food Service Award Named One of Five ‘School Nutrition Heroes’Lakota’s Director of Wellness and Child Nutrition Chris Burkhardt was honored with his second national food service award this school year. Burkhardt was one of just five “School Nutrition Heroes” named nationally by the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) to represent the many professionals who have dedicated their lives to serving the needs of their school district and community.

“Chris’s passion and dedication to his community make him a true school nutrition hero,” said School Nutrition Association CEO Patricia Montague, CAE. “Through his commitment to health and wellness, he serves as a role model for both students and staff. He goes above and beyond to better the community he serves.”

Click here for the School Nutrition Foundation's recent spotlight on Burkhardt.

“Since the moment he arrived at Lakota, Chris has been a driver of innovation in our school cafeterias,” said Lakota’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Passarge. “We are not surprised to see his accomplishments being recognized at the national level on more than one occasion. He is a great asset to our students, staff and the whole community.”

The recipients will be recognized at SNF’s Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes on Feb. 29, during School Nutrition Association’s 44th Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C. The evening will celebrate extraordinary men and women in the school nutrition profession who make a difference in the lives of school children and go beyond their daily responsibilities.

Among Burkhardt’s accolades is his commitment to the health and wellness of both students and staff. He has secured grants to provide biometric screenings, flu shots, and health and wellness assessments for district employees. He also created the Pedometer Challenge where participants strive to achieve 10,000 steps per day in advance of running or walking in the annual Shamrock Shuffle, a community 5K and 10K race.

Burkhardt’s passion for wellness extends to the community as well, where he serves on the board for Reach Out Lakota. He has leveraged his relationships with food distributors to dramatically increase the availability of fruits and vegetables to families served by the food pantry. He’s also established a process through which families can apply for free and reduced price school meals and get nutrition education or special dietary assistance through the organization. Burkhardt is also active in advocating for positive legislative changes around child nutrition.