Stacey Truman has been a cafeteria worker in Virginia Beach, Virginia at the Kingston Elementary School for the last nine years. She sees the job as a privilege because she gets to watch little boys and girls grow up right before her eyes. Not only does she love watching the children learn and grow up, she appreciates that her job is to make sure the children get the nutrition they need to learn as much as possible while at school.
Because she manages the nutrition these children receive at lunch, Stacey takes her job seriously. She is dedicated to the little ones who have come and gone through the doors of Kingston Elementary School since she first began working there almost a decade before.
Besides serving up food, Stacey wants to make a connection with each diner. She always tries to put a smile on their faces and learns their names throughout the year.
Stacey has children of her own. And although she works at a school cafeteria, she still likes making her children’s lunches for the same reasons she likes serving food to the students at Kingston Elementary. One thing that Stacey has done for her little ones as she packs their lunches is to write cute messages on their banana peels.
“I do it for my kids at home, so I decided to bring it here because they are like my kids, too,” Truman told TODAY Food.
She figured these messages were something her children would love to read when they opened their bagged lunches up at school. And they did love them. That’s why she decided to take this little act of kindness and bring it to the children at Kingston Elementary. And now she is being celebrated for sharing the simple gesture of creativity and kindness with the students she works with every day.
The fruit messages are called “talking bananas.” As you’ll see, Stacey writes encouraging words and messages onto the banana peels with a permanent marker.
“The kids love it!” she said. “They [the kids and teachers] call them ‘talking bananas!’”
Some things that students read including “Spread love everywhere you go” and “You are enough.” These encouraging words mean a lot to the young children at the elementary school just like they did for her own children.
The principal of Kingston Elementary School, Sharon Shewbridge, appreciates Stacey Truman’s small act of kindness. And when she walked into the cafeteria one day unannounced, she witnessed the “talking bananas” for herself. The principal snapped a photo of the fruit and shared it with her followers on Twitter. And that’s when Stacey and her fruits with positive messages went viral.
“I shared it on social media because we need more positive messages out there,” Shewbridge told TODAY via email. “Mrs. Truman is so encouraging and does so much for the students and staff at Kingston.”
Now parents around the country are following Stacey’s lead and writing messages on banana peels to give their children something to look forward to while at school.
When Stacey’s “talking bananas” went viral, people across Twitter couldn’t help but share their love for the idea.