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

Ideas and Innovation
aquaponics produce

We partnered with a student group interested in aquaponics to build a recirculating fish tank and lettuce growing operation in our Oval Dining Center. The large tanks are stocked with tilapia that live in the water and fertilize lettuce growing in the recirculating water under grow lights. We then harvest the lettuce and use it in our operations. The unit is set up in the dining room where customers can see the science in action, learn about the process and enjoy the fresh lettuce that was just picked.

Ideas and Innovation
fridge system

We installed a remote refrigeration system as part of our cafeteria renovation. The main part of the system is located on the roof and controls all our refrigerated equipment, including the walk-in freezer and coolers, beverage refrigerator, etc. The system allows us to identify problems faster, and the elimination of individual condenser units cuts down on A/C bills as well as noise.

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

"The students are involved from seed to plate," Executive Chef Frank Turchan...

Sponsored Content
college students eating

From Ovention.

Today’s colleges and universities know they should offer more than a large selection of breakfast cereals in the morning and chicken tenders at lunch to appeal to students. When it comes to what’s trending on campuses, here’s a look at what directors can tune into to boost engagement.

1. Expanded dining hours

Late-night options have long been a popular fixture on college campuses, but if it’s too late, students often choose to venture to off-campus retailers to satisfy their cravings. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend...

FSD Resources