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Lunch Hero Spotlight: Scholarship Prep's Ramona Ureña

In the cafeteria of Scholarship Prep-Oceanside in California, Ramona Ureña stands out for her dedication. As the Meal Supervisor, Ramona plays a crucial role in the school lunch program, ensuring every student receives not just a meal, but genuine care. 

Her colleagues have observed her exceptional efforts, noting how she has transformed the meal program into an essential part of the school day. Although she is relatively new to her role, Ramona has quickly made a significant impact, demonstrating strong leadership and a deep commitment to the students' well-being. Her dedication has earned her a nomination from her peers, who admire her leadership and unwavering commitment. 

In this blog, we share insights from an interview with Ramona about her approach as Meal Supervisor. 

What role do you play in your school’s meal program? 

I am a Meal Program Supervisor at Scholarship Prep – Oceanside and have been with the organization for five years. I started as a noon duty employee and worked up to my current role as Meal Supervisor. I’ve always felt inspired to work in the meal program of schools to become an agent of change and ensure students are being fed nutritious meals. 


What does the day-to-day of your meal program look like? 

Our school takes part in the breakfast program, so my day starts by prepping and serving breakfast. After breakfast, I start with lunch prep and snack prep as we also participate in the afternoon snack program. It’s important that our students find meals appealing, so we like to serve them foods we know they like. Some of the staples in our meal program are hot dogs, tamales, pineapple, and watermelon. There can sometimes be challenges, especially during busy periods, in making sure I have ordered enough food but also ensuring we don’t order too much, leading to waste. 


What do you find to be most rewarding about your job and the relationships you’ve made? 

Forming relationships with our students is not only rewarding but also allows me to understand their likes and dislikes, which helps with menu planning. I love being the first face the students see in the mornings before they start their school day. I ask them about their weekends and make sure they start their day right with a nutritious meal. 

There are a lot of memorable things that students have said to me over the years that make this job so rewarding. We have students tell us we are the best lunch ladies, best chefs, and we even have one student who thinks we make the milk we serve, so they always tell us we are “the best milk makers.” 

Ramona’s dedication and passion have impacted both the students and her colleagues at Scholarship Prep-Oceanside. Ramona's ability to connect with students, understand their needs, and provide nutritious, appealing meals ensures that each child feels valued. Her journey from a noon duty employee to a leader in the cafeteria is a testament to her hard work and commitment. Ramona's story highlights the significant role that meal programs play in fostering a positive school environment, reminding us of the importance of nurturing our students not only academically but nutritionally. 

Do you have a change maker at your school? Nominate them to be next month’s School Food and Wellness Group’s Lunch Hero here.  


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