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From Our Kitchen to Yours: Jennifer Daniels

Jen Daniels, kitchen manager Jennifer Daniels is proud to be a “lunch lady.” She was the kitchen manager at West Middle School for the 2019-20 school year and is proud not only to feed students, but to make strong connections with them as well.

“This is my dream job,” Daniels said. “It warms my heart every time I get to serve our kids.”

Daniels, who currently leads the team at Canyon Creek Elementary for the summer food service program, said that being part of the Food and Nutrition Services department combines her desire to help support students and her passion for cooking.

“There’s this image of someone plopping lunch onto a tray, and that doesn’t look like my job at all,” Daniels said. “It’s about presentation and making sure it’s healthy and looks delicious. My husband used to tease me about my job, but now he understands how much goes into it.”

As someone who loves cooking, Daniels takes pride in nourishing the students of Cherry Creek Schools. She knows she’s an integral part of helping their brains and bodies develop and has worried over how many kids aren’t getting enough to eat over the summer, especially with the impact of the global pandemic. 

“Getting to see the families who are getting meals through the summer program and the emergency relief program was so heartwarming for me,” Daniels said. “I’d often get to see the kids in the car and wave and know they can count on us to feed them now and when they come back in the fall.”

Building relationships with the students at Smoky Hill High School is one of the many things that Daniels cherishes. She has not only helped students apply for the Free and Reduced Lunch program, but is also there to help other issues as they arise.

“These kids are amazing,” Daniels said. “They will talk to me and share some of what they’re going through.  I’m honored to be a trusted adult who isn’t judging, but just listening. It’s an honor to serve them.”

 

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 4 cups frozen strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to the blender or food processor.
  2. Blend for 5 minutes.
  3. You can serve this immediately or store it in an airtight container.