Local Educators Recognized as Hunger Heroes

Local Educators Recognized as Hunger Heroes
Posted on 03/11/2022
This is the image for the news article titled Local Educators Recognized as Hunger HeroesLocal Educators Recognized as Hunger Heroes

Program Honors Those Committed to Feeding Kids

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. – “No Kid Hungry Louisiana” has named Seventh Ward Elementary’s duo Leigh Potts and Sherry Wentzel as one of eight Hunger Heroes from across the state who are being honored for their steadfast commitment to ensuring kids have healthy meals available to them.

Wentzel is a special education teacher and Potts is a guidance counselor at Seventh Ward Elementary. The two-person team was nominated by the staff at their school for the “No King Hungry Louisiana” 2022 Hunger Heroes award.

“Both ladies work endlessly to ensure that no kids in their school or community go hungry,” said Seventh Ward Elementary Principal Laura Dunlap. “Ms. Wentzel went above and beyond to create a food pantry in her room by collecting donations from staff and family members. Together with Ms. Potts, they made the pantry a safe and accessible way for their students to get nutritious food outside of the wonderful school meals provided.”

"These ladies recognize needs and find the resources to meet those needs giving students the opportunity to focus on their time at school instead of being worried about what they will eat after school,” Dunlap added.

“No Kid Hungry Louisiana” Director Rhonda Jackson noted that 1 in 4 children in Louisiana face hunger.

“The people who prepare, serve and plan school and community meals are some of the most important people confronting this crisis,” Jackson said. “In good times and in times of crisis, these Hunger Heroes are the backbone of their communities.”

Jackson equated the Hunger Heroes to first responders. “They show up every day during a global pandemic or following a devastating storm to ensure kids can still count on the meals they need to thrive,” she said.

The other seven 2022 Hunger Heroes include NOLA Public Schools Child Nutrition Field Supervisor Angela Lipscomb, Three O’Clock Project Development Director Caitlyn Scales, Plaquemines Parish Schools Child Nutrition Program Manager Cindy Ancar, Linwood Charter School PE Teacher Coach Joe Boyd, St. James Parish Schools PTO President Nicole Kliebert, Lincoln Public Schools Child Nutrition Coordinator Lorrie Gates, and Calcasieu Parish Schools Director of Food Services Jacqueline Richard.

“No Kid Hungry” has been working in Louisiana since 2010. The program initially focused on increasing access to nutrition programs for children in New Orleans; however, under Gov. John Bel Edwards, the program has expanded its efforts statewide. Program staff collaborate with the governor’s office and the Children’s Cabinet to educate and engage school leaders, promote granting opportunities, and raise awareness about the positive impacts that school breakfast and afterschool and summer meal programs provide to kids in need.

For more information on the efforts of No Kid Hungry in Louisiana, visit https://state.nokidhungry.org/louisiana/.

Photo Information:

Pictured left to right, Seventh Ward Elementary’s Leigh Potts and Sherry Wentzel package food items to provide to students at their school who need assistance with having access to nutritious food. Potts and Wentzel were named one of the state’s 2022 Hunger Heroes.