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Banana day

Celebrating National School Lunch Week

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Food service worker Mandy Creger, dressed as a banana, hands out erasers Friday morning to the students enjoying their lunch at Duncombe Elementary School. The eraser give away was just one of many events in the district this week to celebrate National School Lunch Week.

The students enjoying their lunch Friday at Duncombe Elementary School had an unusual visitor walking around giving them all bright colorful erasers.

The visitor was bright yellow, sort of oblong with a definite curl and a fondness for eventually turning brown.

Yes, it was indeed a banana.

Or rather, food service worker Mandy Creger in a banana costume helping to make the end of National School Lunch Week a memorable experience for the students and staff.

“We’re just having fun with it,” she said. “I’m getting out and talking to the kids.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Food service worker Mandy Creger, dressed as a banana, shows off some of the erasers she was handing out to students at Duncombe Elementary School during their lunch period.

Creger said that lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are part of the students’ daily lunches, but at least on Friday, nothing yellow and peelable.

“Not this week,” she said.

Principal Ryan Flaherty enjoyed the colorful visitor to his school.

“I love fun and creative ways we promote healthy habits for kids,” he said.

The week has been filled with other fun activities. On Tuesday, students at the Middle School helped Chef Nick Sells harvest the crop from the Fork Farm Hydroponic Garden and then used the freshly grown food during the Wednesday build your own burger lunch.

Food grown included leaf lettuce, collard greens, lemon basil, dill and a mix of parsley, thyme and cilantro called chimichurri.

There was also an advisory meeting Thursday to discuss ideas and offer feedback on the meals being served.

Of course, when one wears a banana costume into an elementary school cafeteria, a few banana jokes should be expected.

Creger got to hear one from Charlie Walden, 7, a second-grade student.

“Why did the banana go to the doctor,” Walden asked.

The answer?

“Because it was peeling badly,” came the reply.

Creger felt inspired to continue with a pun as she was getting ready to leave for Riverside Early Learning Center to give away more of the colorful erasers while dressed in her bright yellow banana costume.

“I have to split,” she said.