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District Looking For Volunteers To Help With School Lunch

Salt Lake City School District Asks Local Businesses to “Adopt a School” by Volunteering to Help Serve School Lunch 

Student getting lunch

The Salt Lake City School District (the district) is currently facing a staffing shortage in its Child Nutrition department. These crucial workers serve breakfast and lunch to students every day at the district’s more than 40 schools. However, due to lingering complications from the pandemic, the district’s Child Nutrition Department currently finds itself understaffed by at least 30 percent. 

While every student continues to have access to breakfast and lunch every day, this staffing shortage has caused changes to the student meal programs, including a reduction in offerings and serving lines. That is why the Salt Lake City School District and the Salt Lake Education Foundation have launched a new program to ask the community for help. The district is looking for business partners to adopt a school and provide volunteers who can serve lunch each school day. Almost all schools in the Salt Lake City School District need additional support.  

Facing increasing staff shortages in the Child Nutrition Department, the district decided earlier this year to increase the wage for Child Nutrition staff to $15/hour. “We need to remain competitive,” said Kelly Orton, Salt Lake City School District’s Child Nutrition Director. Our Child Nutrition staff members have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, often in inclement weather and while putting their own health at risk, to make sure every child has had access to a healthy breakfast and lunch. We are now in a time of need and are asking for community members to help us lighten the load for our understaffed teams by assisting in serving these important meals to our students.” 

While lunch service time varies by school, the earliest starting time is 10:30 a.m. and the latest ending time is 1:45 p.m. Each volunteer would need to pass an online food handler class. Each volunteer will also receive a free school lunch. 

Sign up online to volunteer.

  • Volunteer requests will be submitted to the school principal and kitchen manager for approval. Once approved, the kitchen manager will contact each volunteer to set up a weekly work schedule.
  • Food handler permits will be required. The Child Nutrition Department will cover the cost for one online food handler permit test.
  • A uniform (shirt, hat, apron) will be given to each volunteer. Volunteers are required to follow the dress and appearance rules of the department. 

Additional questions about volunteering for the school district can be addressed by Liz Young at or (801)578-8212.