La Crosse, Wis.
Why Chef Thomas?
According to Kerry Johnson, school nutrition director for the School District of Onalaska, Wis.:
“In addition to his duties at the hospital, Chef Thomas has made numerous contributions to communities in La Crosse County. As the chef for the countywide Farm to School Program, Chef Thomas has impacted more students than I can mention. He holds student cooking classes and presentations at local elementary schools to encourage students to try new foods and consume more fruits and vegetables. This year, classes were held in West Salem, Bangor, La Crosse, Holmen and Onalaska schools, all of which have several sites and classes. His enthusiasm is contagious for staff and students alike, and he has left an impression on many to strive to eat healthier and live a better life. In addition, when the school year ended this year, students in our county went home with The Chef Thomas Bean Challenge. This is a package of beans and instructions for students to grow their own plants over the summer and come back to school in the fall with a photo, paper or any presentation about their experience. Chef Thomas is an amazing chef, community member, and mentor for children and adults in our area.”