On Friday, May 6th 2016, Students and Staff around the country celebrated School Lunch Hero Day, “A national celebration in honor of the hard-working individuals who prepare healthy meals to our students every single day.”

The day was created by Jarrett J Krosoczka, the author and illustrator of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series.

I “create(d) a day where we could recreate that feeling in cafeterias across the country: School Lunch Hero Day, a day where kids can make creative projects for their lunch staff.” said Krosoczka in the Ted Talk, “Why Lunch Ladies are Heroes”. “And I partnered with the School Nutrition Association, and did you know that a little over 30 million kids participate in school lunch programs every day. That equals up to a little over five billion lunches made every school year.”

The event has a webpage dedicated to information about and ideas for how to celebrate the event. It even has a stories of school lunch heroes tab, where users can comment stories about their exceptional cafeteria staff or read small bios about other inspiring lunch ladies.

And the stories of heroism go well beyond just a kid getting a few extra chicken nuggets on their lunch tray.” continues Krosocska. “There is Ms. Brenda in California, who keeps a close eye on every student that comes through her line and then reports back to the guidance counselor if anything is amiss. There are the lunch ladies in Kentucky who realized that 67 percent of their students relied on those meals every day, and they were going without food over the summer, so they retrofitted a school bus to create a mobile feeding unit, and they traveled around the neighborhoods feedings 500 kids a day during the summer.”

Students in Maschio’s schools made a thank you cards, posters, and a thank you pizza to help honor their cafeteria staff. Krosocska has seen even more children appreciating in creative ways:

“Kids made hamburger cards that were made out of construction paper. They took photos of their lunch lady’s head and plastered it onto my cartoon lunch lady and fixed that to a milk carton and presented them with flowers. And they made their own comics, starring the cartoon lunch lady alongside their actual lunch ladies. And they made thank you pizzas, where every kid signed a different topping of a construction paper pizza.”

Check out the full TED Talk here.