LIMA — Though it’s cold and dark outside, inside the Heritage Elementary cafeteria, it’s warm and bright.
The hum of machinery accompanies Maria Croft as she darts around the kitchen, popping breakfast breadsticks into the oven and getting milk out.
It’s just before 7 a.m., and soon the kids will come in for their “grab and go” breakfast.
Croft, a cook at the school, has worked for Lima City Schools for 22 years and loves the fast pace of her job.
Each day, she feeds 385 children breakfast. That means preparing a lot of food early in the morning.
“This has been a job that is very fulfilling,” Croft said, who likes seeing the children she feeds grow from kindergarten to fourth grade.
As she races around, grabbing milk, the hot breakfasts and lining everything up for when the kids come in at 7:30 a.m., she does it cheerfully. She’s smiling, giggling and calling out to her coworkers.
“I love my job,” she says.
Reach Danae King at 567-242-0511 or on Twitter @DanaeKing.