Foodservice directors have diverse backgrounds

A Navy man and a former FBI agent are just a few of the faces in Maryland foodservice.

Nov. 29—Every year in Maryland, 70 million lunches and 24 million breakfasts are served in public schools, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Those working in public school cafeterias throughout the region are responsible for preparing and serving hundreds of those meals to children each day.

Long trip to the kitchen: Wil Ridley of California began his food service career in the U.S. Navy. Ridley came to enjoy mess duty when, for three months, he was assigned to make salads and do other kitchen work. He said he enjoyed the hours and the ability to leave the ship on a day off.

Ridley spent a little more than 19 years in the Navy, and after his first assignment to mess duty, he never went back to any other assignment. He said the Navy even sent him for schooling in food service.