New food service director excels

COURTESY PHOTO

PORT ISABEL — Angela Olivares’ abundance of experience and exceptional leadership skills have led her to her latest career achievement.

Point Isabel ISD recently welcomed Olivares to their team as the school district’s new child nutrition, food service director.

“ I’m really thankful that I’ve been given this opportunity. I can really utilize my educational background in food science and nutrition and my past 10 years of experience in retail,” Olivares said. “I have a lot of new ideas and fresh outlooks that I can bring to the district.”

The school district began the school year with remote instruction on Aug. 24 and has been conducting a “Grab and Go, Eat at Home” program under the direction of Olivares.

“ We’re really making sure the staff is safe and are given the proper equipment,” she said. “I’m listening to what their needs are so we can better serve them, as well as our entire food production.”

According to Olivares, the program has 102 bus route locations and three curbside areas where students’ breakfast and lunch can get picked up with their meal card.

“ We’re doing remote learning, so we’re providing the students the necessity of eating meals while they’re trying to navigate how to do remote learning,” she said. “So we bring a piece of school to them through our bus route system.”

From fruits and veggies to classic cheeseburgers, and even different styled cuisines, such as Chinese and Italian food, the school district’s students have been receiving a variety of meals.

“ I can’t thank my managers and my staff enough for taking the direction that we plan together and really executing it to a higher level,” she said. “Bringing our vision to life is very rewarding. It’s all for our kids and that’s our goal.”

Olivares said the department has been receiving successful feedback from parents and students.

“ Some feedback has been that the kids love the food and that the parents love the containers because they’re microwavable and reusable,” she said. “Our number one priority is to feed our students, but in addition to that, during these times families might not be able to go to restaurants so bringing a restaurant-style, quality experience to them is another one of our goals.”

Olivares is from Brownsville and studied science and nutrition at Texas A&M University in College Station.

“ I participated a lot in the community. I went through a lot of schools during my studies and I just really saw that school lunch had a bad reputation,” she said. “So I have a passion for food safety, quality and giving our community things that they may not experience.”

Olivares said as a mother of a toddler that will attend school in a few years, she knew she wanted to be the leader that the community needed that has a passion for providing quality meals for students.

“ That’s why I took this role, and it doesn’t feel like a job to me. It feels like I’m doing for the better good of the 2,000 plus kids that we have in the community,” she said. “Seeing that feedback is so rewarding. It’s validating my career change so I’m so happy that even through this pandemic, I’m able to make an impact.”

ahernandez@valleystar.com