Emeline Garcia

Emeline Garcia soaks up information like a sponge at Salida schools.

Why Selected?

Billy Reid, child nutrition services director, says: Emeline was hired as a two-hour cafeteria helper. She quickly showed us she wanted to work more than two hours a day. Emeline quickly became my go-to extra-duty person. Before and after her shift she worked in the central kitchen, where she soaked up info like a sponge. She wanted to be trained to drive a truck and deliver and she wanted to learn the computer, all of which she accomplished with no problems. 

Details

Cafeteria Assistant, Salida Union School District, Salida, Calif.
Age: 27
Education: High school graduate
Years at organization: 1

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Being recognized by my boss for this award. It’s an honor and a humbling experience because I never thought I’d be recognized for all the effort that I put into my work. 

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

I’m a very fast-paced worker and a quick study. I’ve learned a lot from my colleagues. 

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

Always strive to try your best each and every day. Set goals for myself to constantly improve in the workforce. 

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

Learning all the new components for school lunches. It was pretty challenging at first, but I’m proud that I’ve put that all together and I’m making a difference in making healthy school lunches. 

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

I don’t get to see the kids that much because I work in the kitchen where we distribute meals from. When I get the chance to go to the schools and the kids ask me what we’re having for lunch, I love the feeling of them enjoying the food we are cooking. 

Q. What would you like to accomplish in your career in the next two years?

I’d like to continue to learn and grow. With school lunch being such a hot topic right now I feel really fortunate to be in a position to have a direct impact with the kids. 

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

I haven’t had a really big disaster, but close to it. We had chicken nuggets on the menu one day and right before we needed to leave for delivery, I noticed that there weren’t any chicken nuggets in the hot carts; they were all still in the oven. There was only 15 minutes before we needed to leave so we didn’t have time to start a new batch if they were burned. Thankfully the nuggets weren’t too crispy. 

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The Virginia Department of Health said it has traced a “cluster” of hepatitis A cases to frozen Egyptian strawberries used by Virginia units of a smoothie chain.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe voluntarily trashed the strawberries and switched to supplies from a different source immediately after being notified of the connection, the health department said in a statement issued Friday.

The department noted that it had traced earlier outbreaks of hepatitis A to strawberries imported from Egypt. But it warned that supplies may still be in the freezers of other foodservice operations...

Managing Your Business
business man smash computer

Foodservice directors spend a lot of time taking care of other people, whether it’s K-12 students who aren’t always eating enough at home, malnourished patients back for return visits or employees squabbling among themselves. That kind of pressure can weigh heavily—and come home from work. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America finds that 83% of men and 72% of women say stress at work carries over into their personal lives, and 50% call staff management their main culprit for workplace stress.

“Stress is very difficult in our world, and work-life balance is very much a...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at an Arkansas high school may have to take creative measures to get a meal, thanks to a school policy that prevents parents from dropping off lunches left at home.

The Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock, Ark., last week posted a picture on Facebook of a sign that reads, “Stop. If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please turn around and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”

While social media opinions on the school’s rule were mixed, some commenters expressed concern that...

Industry News & Opinion

Novato Unified School District in Novato, Calif., has created a new vegetarian grab-and-go item as part of the district’s Meatless Monday initiative, marinij.com reports .

The Fiesta Rice and Bean Shaker, which is served in disposable cups, contains rice, corn, black beans, taco seasoning, corn tortilla chips and romaine lettuce topped with an optional salsa and ranch dressing. It’s also customizable, as students are able to select which ingredients they’d like to include.

The vegetarian shaker is made using produce from a nearby organic garden. Sofie Garcia, an employee in...

FSD Resources