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Allison is the Food Service Director at Marion Center School District and is in her seventh year working in school nutrition. As a Registered Dietitian, she started her career working in hospitals and long-term care facilities. While she enjoyed working in healthcare, she really wanted the chance to make an impact on the health of children – feed them healthy, balanced meals in hopes they never become ill adults who must manage a disease with nutrition therapy.
When Allison first began working at Marion Center, LuAnn Fee from Armstrong School District served as her Project PA mentor. She also received help in developing her program and navigating regulations from the Pittsburgh Regional Food Service Directors group. Allison feels that school nutrition professionals are a wonderful, sharing community and says they “are amazingly willing to share their wisdom and resources with other directors” as they are not in competition for business, so sharing information and encouragement is common.
Allison remembers how challenging it was to be a new food service director and needing to learn about a new school district, USDA regulations, PrimeroEdge, and all of the other job responsibilities. She says that there were many directors who helped her at that time and she wants to “pay it forward” by being a mentor. Allison loves the school food service industry and the work that school nutrition professionals do to feed hungry children healthy meals. She says, “We need fresh faces and ideas in the industry, and those fresh faces can often use a helping hand when they first start out.”