pwcs food service award

Adam Russo helps prepare bag lunches for distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Prince William County Public School’s director of school food and nutrition services, Adam Russo, is one of only four food service leaders across the country to earn a 2021 Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence award.

Russo, who received the Silver Leadership Award, was recognized for his outstanding leadership, dedication, fiscal achievement, and innovation in “menuing” and merchandising in a school nutrition program, according to a news release.

Under his direction, the school system has increased breakfasts by 6,000 students a day and 165,000 suppers a year; maintained its workforce during the pandemic; reconceptualized the Summer Food Service Program menu pattern to provide bulk grocery items to families for multiple days at a time, and increased the benefit for families receiving meals, from 3,000 to 30,000 overnight.

More than 7 million meals have been served this school year alone.

Russo was scheduled to be honored during the School Nutrition Association’s annual conference, to be held virtually this month.

Russo has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Longwood University. He transitioned from owning and operating restaurants to school nutrition seven years ago and has worked for the county school system since 2017.

Russo was also recently featured in Foodservice Director Magazine’s “Operation of the Year.”

“I have always known the impact that our programs have had on educational outcomes, and students’ ability to be successful in life,” Russo said. “This has only been highlighted by the pandemic and the tremendous need in our community. I am constantly amazed by the passion and care our staff exhibits for those they serve.”

Under Russo’s leadership, the county school system also has won two Virginia School Boards Association Food for Thought Awards and been a Virginia Breakfast Challenge Division Gold Category Winner.

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