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Thanks to Lupita and Leonor, Our School Lunch Heroes!

Dell City School cafeteria workers, Leonor Garcia and Lupita Mariscal


“School Lunch Hero Day” was May 1, and we're a little late in recognizing them, but we wanted to let Dell City School cafeteria staffers Lupita Mariscal and Leonor Garcia know how grateful we are for the work they're doing!


It's been almost seven weeks since the coronavirus pandemic prompted the closure of our school, and schools across the state, and the free service of school meals has continued without interruption throughout that time. Leo and Lupita have been rocks for the Cougar Community – preparing and distributing nutritious meals, which so many of our families rely on. And they do that work with love and care.


With no students and few other staff members on campus, Lupita and Leo are at the school each weekday – from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, when they receive grocery deliveries, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. They're preparing some 50 breakfasts and 50 lunches each day – and distributing all those meals curbside to Cougar students and parents.


And Lupita, who became the cafeteria manager in February, says she and Leo enjoy each day at work.


“We've been serving something different every day,” Lupita said, “and so far, so good. Everybody's enjoying it – they're glad that we're doing this for the kids, and we're enjoying every minute of it.”


Lupita and Leo were friends long before they started working together, and Lupita said they're “not lonely” together at the school.


“Not to be mean,” she said, “but we really like it like this. We enjoy each other, and we like the quiet.” And, she noted, every day but Monday they “get to sleep in a little later” than they would if classes were being held on campus.


Leo and Lupita will continue to serve breakfast and lunch each weekday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., through the end of May. Though summer school won't be held this year, the cafeteria will continue to provide school meals in June, Mondays through Thursdays. Then, Lupita and Leo get a well-earned break!


Lupita said that while many in the community have had to stay home, cafeteria work has kept her and Leo connected to the community – seeing the faces of Dell City School parents and students each day – and that that's been another benefit of the job.


Thank you, Lupita and Leo, for your dedication – and for helping keep Cougar students well fed!


Leonor Garcia distributing free school meals.