Anyone who has volunteered in a Carnival food booth or helped host the Alumni Lu‘au can appreciate the enormity of the job and the orchestration required to feed so many people. Director of Food Service Marcia Barrett ’74 Wright not only coordinates large-scale special events at Punahou, but she and her team also serve more than 1,500 hot meals every school day.
As Dole Hall’s leader, Wright runs the cafeteria, manages the budget and oversees food inventory. With her no-nonsense, take-charge attitude, Wright is able to command a staff of 44 and in the case of Carnival, hundreds of volunteers, to get the job done.
“Her instrumental work for the School includes working with many different types of people for various occasions and ensuring they are all trained and working against the clock to get things served up on time and in a healthy manner,” said Denise Eldredge Sagapolutele ’91 who nominated Wright. “No matter what may be happening elsewhere, the show must go on and, somehow, she and her staff whip everyone into order.”
Planning for large events begins sometimes a year in advance, so naturally, Wright relishes the final results. “I love what we produce. I love watching it come together,” she said. “And the best part about it is when people love what you do, it makes it that much more worth doing.”
Wright is committed to the best professional practices and sustainability efforts. She constantly seeks opportunities to reduce energy use, and has embraced sustainable practices through recycling, composting and food sourcing.
When she’s not feeding the Punahou community, Wright volunteers with her church by serving meals at the Institute for Human Services men’s shelter. Her late husband, Alvin, got her started volunteering, and it’s a tradition she’s continued because service is part of her faith.
Wright’s care for others – at Punahou and in her community – is served up in every meal she makes. “I get up in the morning,” Wright said, “and I love to come to work.”