HISD Nutrition Services Officer Betti Wiggins has been selected as a 2020 Leaders to Learn From by Education Week, a weekly publication highlighting issues in education across the nation.
Wiggins is one of 12 honorees for 2020. She was selected for the distinction based on her leadership in food services and equity.
“I’m so proud of the work we’ve done in HISD Nutrition Services surrounding food equity. Food literacy and inclusion ensures students have more than a consumer relationship with food,” Wiggins said.
“Each day, we take our efforts ‘beyond the plate’ because our goal is to do more than serve meals in the cafeteria. Our team seeks to impact the entire community and help build a healthier future.”
Wiggins joined HISD’s Nutrition Services in 2017 and led the department’s move to establish its own child nutrition operation following the departure of an outside vendor that oversaw the district’s food service program for roughly two decades.
Soon after joining the district, Wiggins established a vision to serve students “good food” that is wholesome, nutritious, colorful, and locally sourced. Her efforts led to revamped school menus and the creation of the Food Literacy and Inclusion program — a curriculum designed to help students to critically reflect on the effects of food choices on their individual, family, and community health.
Wiggins has led Nutrition Services in feeding families during Hurricane Harvey, secured free meals for all students during the 2018-2019 school year, and has orchestrated the addition of salad bars to nearly every school in the district.
Wiggins was previously recognized as one of 10 women featured in the 2019 NBC News web series, She Thrives: Black Women Making History Today. She was also named one of Time Magazine’s 50 Most Influential People in Health Care in 2018.