SOMERS, N.Y. – Ninety-year-old Somers resident, Frank Harris, was honored with the School Nutrition Association’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement FAME Award on Sunday, for his years of devotion to child nutrition. The award was presented in San Antonio, Texas, at the association's annual conference.
As a youngster, Harris escaped Nazi Germany, via Holland and London, and arrived with his parents in America in 1940. In 1943 he joined the U. S. Army and served as a cook/baker and mess sergeant. His post-war jobs included food service at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
In 1967, Harris was hired by the Norwalk Public School system to oversee student nutrition. At that time, only six of the 18 Norwalk schools provided school lunches. After a five-year struggle, Harris was able to establish a central kitchen to service all elementary school students. He later implemented a breakfast program, which was an idea before its time.
In 2011, Harris proposed cost-saving steps to fine tune the Universal Free Meals program, established by Congress in 2002 with Harris’s support. The program aims to reduce crime rates, drug use, and school drop-outs by providing good nutrition and stressing other health factors.