Dinner lady Anna retires after ‘a million meals’

Fulbridge Academy school cook  Anna Monteforte retires after 20 years. Pictured are reception pupils with her EMN-161202-182151009

Fulbridge Academy school cook Anna Monteforte retires after 20 years. Pictured are reception pupils with her EMN-161202-182151009

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After more than a million cooked meals during two decades’ worth of service, the head of kitchen at Fulbridge Academy in Peterborough has said an emotional goodbye to pupils and staff.

Anna Monteforte (58) from Dogsthorpe was given a surprise assembly as a thank you from the school which saw her showered with gifts from children and members of staff.

Flowers, jewellery and a book of memories with around 800 signatures from the children left Anna extremely touched as she tried to hold back the tears during her special farewell.

And to show the school’s appreciation for her dedicated service, a speech was given by headmaster Ian Erskine alongside a song from the children and a round of applause.

Anna said: “It was emotional. Everyone was upset and I even had some students crying.

“I knew nothing about the assembly, it was a complete shock. The headmaster was wonderful and I was very tearful. After 20 years you can imagine the kind of emotions that were running through me at the time.

“At the moment I’m just having some time to myself, but I’m looking to venture into different career paths like the caring industry.”

Anna said her fondest memories include “having a strong team” alongside her, and the thing she will miss the most will be the “smiling faces of the children when they have had a good meal.”

She added: “They were very polite and the school has a great reputation for manners.”

But despite the sadness at leaving her job, Anna is optimistic for the future. She said: “I’m really going to miss the school and the children. It’s difficult to picture a future without them, but one door closes and the other opens. It’s going to be fantastic.”