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CACFP Inspire: Rachelle Wuellner, Bunker Hill CUSD8

July 6, 2022

Rachelle Wuellner (4 × 3 in)

Rachelle Wuellner is the food service coordinator at Bunker Hill Community Unity School District 8. Bunker Hill CUSD8 provides free meals during school, remote learning periods, and summer. Rachelle is the person responsible for ensuring that all students across the district receive their meals.

And when we say all students, we mean all students.

Rachelle makes sure that students have great, healthy meals offered to them no matter whether they are at school or afar. She adapts quickly to any changes or obstacles that may come her way. Rachelle prides herself on serving meals and snacks to all students whether first thing in the morning, for the Bunker Hill CUSD8 early childhood program, for their after-school program, for those in quarantine, for those in other school districts not getting meals delivered--for everyone!

Pandemic response

In fact, during the pandemic and periods of remote learning or quarantine for students, Rachelle created a link so that students could sign up to have meals delivered directly to their homes. She realized that students that needed these meals the most might not have transportation to pick them up from the school, and she responded to that need.

During the pandemic, Rachelle took extra steps to foster a sense of community amongst students and staff who couldn’t be face to face together. She created a school nutrition Facebook Page—The Lunch Ladies of Bunker Hill CUSD8, and students were encouraged to show-off their attire and wonderful meals sharing pictures on social media with the hashtag #bh8mealsrock. Rachelle even worked with teachers and staff to ensure that other things were delivered to the students when her team was delivering lunches. If a student needed learning supplies, books, or an assignment from a teacher, they knew they could contact Rachelle and she would ensure it was delivered at the same time as their lunches for that day. She went above and beyond throughout the pandemic to ensure the students got what they needed.

A superhero in disguise

Collaboration and creativity is another area where Rachelle shines in her role. She is constantly in collaboration with school leadership to encourage students to eat school breakfast, lunch, and make healthy food choices for their growing bodies. Rachelle and her team would write special messages on the lunch boxes, bags, and even the bananas for students to encourage them. She has created her own recipes to ensure all health requirements are met while enticing students with new foods to try. Under Rachelle’s direction, the cafeteria often has special days and parties to encourage participation in the lunch program. Rachelle even performs community outreach by setting up booths at community events to promote school breakfast and lunches and allow the community to understand school nutrition and the CACFP.

Rachelle goes above and beyond, always. There is no other way for her to operate

Rachelle’s principal had this to say about her: “Rachelle goes above and beyond, always. There is no other way for her to operate.” She brings positivity, energy, and innovation to her job every day, and the results are obvious: the students at Bunker Hill CUSD8 are fed and enthusiastic about their meals. Rachelle will often dress up as Wonder Women for the students, but here at NCA we're not so sure it's just a costume--it may be who she really is.