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Chef Sky Atwood Celebrated as a ‘Hero Behind the Food’ During Chef Appreciation Week 2020

Chartwells Chef Recognized as One of Five Outstanding Chefs across the Country for Feeding Students and Communities During COVID-19 Pandemic

While school lunch may look different this year with classrooms and common areas transformed into cafeterias, Chartwells K12 chefs and cafeteria teams are still serving on-trend meals prepared with local ingredients, authentic flavors and a lot of heart. To honor these heroes behind the food, Chartwells is celebrating Chef Appreciation Week, September 13-19, to recognize the men and women dedicated to serving kids throughout the year. Five chefs across the country were selected for their exceptional efforts going above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic.  
At Flagstaff Unified School District in Flagstaff, AZ Chef Sky from the Chartwells K12 dining team was honored for the positive impact she made during emergency and summer feeding efforts and bringing culinary excellence to the district throughout the year. When the pandemic arrived, Chef Sky Atwood, along with the school lunch hero team at Flagstaff School District, ensured that not only the students, but their broader community had access to balanced, nutritious meals. The nearby Navajo Nation was hit hard by COVID-19, and Chef Sky and her team broadened their feeding efforts to provide meals to the children and families in need, but the team didn’t stop there.
Chef Sky’s team also partnered with two different food banks in their community to supply local families with backpacks full of food and also arranged meal pick-up sites for families to benefit from the extra food. This summer alone, the team has served more that 200,000 meals, providing meals to families seven days of the week, and truly going above and beyond to make students were fed.
Chef Sky is a die-hard CHEF, loving every minute she gets to spend in her kitchen helping to feed students and her community.
“Throughout the COVID shut down last spring and summer, Chef Sky was an important part of the team that made sure the students of the district had meals to eat. Chef Sky created a menu that worked for everyone. My daughters neighbor commented to me that without regular school her kids were restless but every day they asked her to take them to pick up a lunch at Cromer, it reminded them of the good times at school. Sky was a big part of it with her positive attitude.” Bob Kuhn, Assistant Superintendent, Flagstaff Unified School District
Throughout the school year, Chef Sky has worked relentlessly to make sure that all of our managers and staff have the resources and knowledge needed to provide each student with the best experience each time they walk into our cafeterias.
Chef Appreciation Week was established in 2013 to honor and recognize all those serving in the culinary industry for their dedication, love of food and willingness to serve their community.
“Celebrating Chef Appreciation Week is another reason to say thank you to Sky Atwood and our team at Flagstaff Unified School District for all they have done for the entire school community, especially in the last several months” said Belinda Oakley, CEO, Chartwells K12. “At Chartwells K12, our chefs are talented, resourceful, creative – and fun – and they are the reason mealtime remains a bright spot in a student’s day.”  
In addition to Chef Sky, Chartwells K12 is honoring four other chefs for Chef Appreciation Week and celebrating all our chefs and teams from school districts across the country who go above and beyond to serve up happy and healthy every day.