Animated image of Jerrilyn Hernandez

Jerrilyn Hernandez

Orofino Joint School District (ID)

Submitted by Carmen Griffith

Jerrilyn Hernandez changed the environment of her cafeteria.  She began by implemented a Salad bar.  She found a grant to purchase the unit and worked with her staff to choose, display, and serve a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Students now have the ability to choose their own food items and create their own salads.   The salad bar has increased student choices and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.  After seeing the success of the salad bar, Jerrilyn approached her supervisor about starting an A la Carte Line.  She searched for grants that would fund a Kiosk, then researched food items that could be offered.  Jerrilyn now has an active A la Carte Line in her cafeteria.  She has created yogurt parfaits/smoothies with the new blender she received through a grant from the Dairy Council, which she wrote as well.  She uses the Salad bar and Kiosk as a way to promote her school’s CN program. Both stations are used to promote healthy choices. 

One of her favorite things to do is menus.  This Hunger Hero creates them, shares them, and posts them to our district web site.  Our highest participation day is Mashed potato Tuesday with chicken nuggets.  This nominee not only provides meals for her building, but she also ships food out to 2 smaller sites. This was a huge feat since these two sites are set in remote areas.  Our Hunger Hero not only manages her own staff, she also takes new staff members under her wing and guides them along the way.  She communicates with them daily, submits their food orders, addresses issues that arise and has become a mentor for them. She has stepped in to help with personnel issues, paperwork questions and has even gone so far as giving them her personal cell phone number and answers all their needs/concerns even if she is out of town.  In addition, she asked her director if she could over see one of the other kitchens when their manager quit.  She made it such a smooth transition for that kitchen that she has continued to manage that kitchen along with her current three sites. 

Jerrilyn has been an active member of her local School Nutrition Association (SNA) for the past 13 years and has never missed a state conference.  She does not stop at just being a member.  She participates in outreach to the community through food banks, socks for seniors, food for animal shelters, helping wildfire victims, Giving Tree and Christmas presents.  As President she led the chapter in service to community; raising money for the pregnancy crisis center, VFW food baskets, school supplies and monetary funds for a little girl who needed an eye. This year she has stepped up her game and will sit on the Idaho SNA board has an area representative.  Jerrilyn not only promotes the CN program through fundraisers and service to the community, over the past 9 years she has also provided over 3,500 meals for the Firemen’s Academy. 

Jerrilyn Hernandez is a true HUNGER HERO!

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