The Origin Story

Let’s get to know each other!

I’m Ashley Morena, a Child Nutrition and Wellness Director from Canton, Ohio. I am a momma to three lovely boys, and obsessed with all things “self-help.” I’ve been growing since 1989!

My journey to becoming a Director of Child Nutrition began when, as a troubled teen, I was afforded the opportunity to work for the Superintendent as a receptionist. I worked for the Superintendent my junior and senior year, after which I graduated from high school and moved on with my life.I dabbled in college, got married, and became a momma… all while struggling to pay bills on a server’s wages. Then, out of the blue, the Superintendent’s office called and asked if I would like to work as a receptionist again. I was excited, but nervous! The receptionist job was part-time, no benefits, and took up just enough of my time to have to pay childcare. I went for it anyways.

Project School Nutrition

The Beginning

I am a visionary even during the most uncertain times and even though the part-time job was tough, I knew I could make full-time a reality. My mantra was, “I will make them need me full time”. Every single day, I kept that saying in my head. Every single day, I showed up to work willing to do more than my job description. Offering my help to the Treasurer, Curriculum Director, Superintendent, Payroll and more, kept me very busy.

My district at the time shared services with our Food Service director. I suddenly found myself assisting her as needed, organizing the bills, and responding to emails. To make a very long story short, I was asked to go full-time within 8 months of working at Canton Local as a Receptionist/Assistant to the Food Service Director. Three years later I was promoted to the Child Nutrition and Wellness Director for Canton Local Schools.

Helping Others Grow

My point to this story is that I have the ability to figure things out and am self taught. I am a seeker of knowledge and when I don’t know the answer I am the first to raise my hand and ask for help. My seed was planted long ago as a teenager, fast forward 16 years later I am finally blossoming into my unique self and helping others.

I founded Project School Nutrition to help others plant their seed(s) and grow. I know what it’s like to be overwhelmed with paperwork, burdened by regulations, manage staffing issues and not have the time, money or resources readily available while ensuring students are fed nutritious meals.

BUT, through years of personal and professional development, coaching, trial and error, and equipping my team with the right tools, we were able to grow our program’s revenue to more than a quarter million dollars!

At Project School Nutrition, we plant seeds in imperfect climates with school nutrition professionals and give you all the tools, coaching, and resources necessary to grow!