Carla Hall with Cooks

Celebrating Kitchen Staff with Cafeteria Takeovers and Makeovers

There’s no doubt about it: you and your staff do so much for the kids in your school. You’re often the first in the building as you prepare each day’s menu, and you give students and faculty the nutritious food they need to keep going throughout the week.

To shine light on the great work staff like yours are doing, we’re organizing Cafeteria Takeovers where we’re visiting schools with celebrity Chef Carla Hall, and Cafeteria Makeovers to award four schools $25K worth of kitchen equipment.


Carla Hall

Since October of 2022, we’ve teamed up with celebrity Chef Carla Hall to commend school cafeteria staff across the U.S.

Esteemed chef, cookbook author and beloved TV personality Carla Hall has been a longtime proponent of better meals in schools. “We all know how incredibly important it is for our kids to have the proper nutrition to help sustain them throughout the day,” says Chef Carla.

As a part of this partnership, Chef Carla and the JENNIE-O® Brand team are visiting four K12 schools during our Cafeteria Takeovers. But Chef Carla isn’t just making an impact in these kitchens. Her advocacy through interviews and TV appearances is bringing positive recognition to the K12 channel as a whole.

During these Cafeteria Takeovers, kitchen employees receive:

A meal developed with JENNIE-O® Brand turkey, served by Chef Carla and the Jennie-O team

smaller biscuit

A baking tutorial lead by Chef Carla featuring her famous biscuits

Refreshments, relaxing amenities and more from local businesses

Heartfelt notes of gratitude from each school’s student body

“The Jennie-O team and I had a fabulous time visiting the school cafeterias in Knoxville, Los Angeles and Houston to show their staff how much they are loved and appreciated,” says Chef Carla.

carla hall at school
Carla Hall


pizza grilled cheese

As a bonus, Chef Carla inspired this K12 recipe for her unique Pizza Grilled Cheese using JENNIE-O® Italian Style Turkey Sausage Crumbles (54057). This tasty sandwich is a turkey-take on the classic grilled cheese with a side of pizza sauce for dipping, giving kitchen teams like yours a way to serve a new and exciting meal to your kids.


We’re also awarding four schools $25,000 worth of kitchen equipment, supplies and essentials to help staff like yours continue to be a bright spot in your students’ day. 

The Cafeteria Makeover contest is a nomination-based program where faculty, students and even parents can vote for your cafeteria. Nominations are open through June 1st of 2023 and answers will be reviewed based on uniqueness, thoughtfulness, passion and positivity.

Contest ended as of 06/01/2023.


Use these social media posts to spread the word in your community and get more nominations for your school!

nominations for cafeteria
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