EDCOE Team Member Spotlight - Brenda Higgins, Food Service Supervisor
00:00 AM - February 24, 2020
Interview with Brenda Higgins
Briefly describe your background (where you grew up, family, why you came to work for EDCOE).
I grew up in Garden Grove, California. My parents decided to pack all us kids up, my older brother/sister, younger sister/ brother, and I (the middle child) and moved us to El Dorado County.
What is your department, title, and how long have you worked for EDCOE?
I had a friend that was working as a cook for the Child Development Program. She was moving and gave me a call about applying for the cook’s position. Therefore, I applied and got the job as a cook for the Child Development Program. I started working for EDCOE in 1988. In March of this year, I will have been working for EDCOE for 32 years.
I started as a cook at the Smith Flat Children Center. I stayed there for 15 years until the facility closed and then moved to the Ken Lowry Kitchen in 2003. In 2006, I received a new position as Lead Cook; and I stayed in that position until 2011, when I received another promotion to Food Service Supervisor.
Describe how your role helps support programs/schools/students directly or indirectly.
In Food Service, we ensure that our Head Start/State Preschool students and the Charter Community Program receive healthy, nutritious meals. We deliver to many of our sites, and this is good for the students to meet the cooks who prepare their meals and for the cooks to be able to interact with the students. Food Service also caters EDCOE events on and off-site.
What do you most appreciate about your department/team?
I am very lucky to work with some amazing women. Silvia Arredondo, Lori Zuck, and Gina Carle are the heart of our Food Service Program. I appreciate their dedication and hard work for our students and EDCOE Employees. Betsy Bateson, our Nutritionist, is a big part of our Food Service Program. Her ‘Harvest of the Month’ and cooking classes for our Head Start, State Preschool, and Early Head Start Programs teaches our students and families about eating healthy.
What is your proudest moment at EDCOE? Why?
My proudest moment at EDOCE was in October of this year. We had several power outages in El Dorado County. The Food Service team pulled together and was able to save all our fresh and frozen food during each power outage. Together we moved 1,200 pounds of dry ice from different vendors to our kitchen. This experience showed our strength and support for each other as a team.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read, fish, and most recently, my husband and I got ourselves a Razor (off-road) vehicle, to go on some exciting new adventures with each other.
What is something many people may not know about you?
My faith in God, my family, and friends are what keep me grounded in life. I’m going to be having my first grand baby any day. We don’t know if Baby G is a boy or girl. I love old movies, especially ones with Betty Davis. I sometimes binge watch the ID Channel (detective stories) all day.
If you could meet anyone in the world, living or deceased, who would it be and why?
If I could meet someone, it would be my Oma Maartje, my Mom’s mom. I never had the pleasure to know her. My Oma passed away during World War II, protecting my Mom who was only 1½ years old. I want to be able to share with her all about my Mom, her daughter, and what an amazing and loving person she became and how she raised five wonderful children and was able to see the world with my Pop.
From supervisor, Jenny Pettit, M.A. Director of Child Development:
Brenda is an extremely hard worker and has a strong attention to detail. I have no worries knowing that Brenda is in charge for providing nutritious meals for over 500 children in 20 locations every day! Additionally, Brenda was instrumental during the Planned Power Outages, she and her team came in the dark to ice the food, preventing a $20,000 loss.