By Jack Pinsky

It was 3:00 p.m. in the Dining Hall. It looked the same as usual, except the people lounging at tables eating their lunches were employees, not students. I felt like I had entered a secret world simmering below the surface of D-Hall.

My interviewee, Penny McMorrow, approached me. Brad Carpenter, the director of Sodexo at F&M, recommended that I interview her.

“What is your role at F&M?” I began.

“Oh, geez,” McMorrow said. “I do the deli, the catering, and concessions at the football games.”

I learned that football is McMorrow’s favorite sport, too, and her favorite team is the Steelers.

When I asked about her hometown, I was pleasantly surprised by her answer. She is from Lancaster and graduated from McCaskey High School. She has a son, Adrian, who is in the 10th grade.

One of her sons, Austin, also works in D-Hall at the pasta station, and the other, Alex, does the makeup for the women on the reality show Dance Moms.

Before working at F&M, McMorrow worked at Captain Gus’s Steak Shop for 22 years. She came to F&M because it offered a better opportunity.

“[I wanted to] branch out and make things other than steaks and sandwiches,” McMorrow said.

When I asked what her ideal job would be, McMorrow answered me honestly.

“Food service is all I know,” she told me, “This is pretty much my ideal job.”

I asked McMorrow what she likes to do outside of her career, and the reason Carpenter recommended her became obvious. In her free time, McMorrow spends time caring for the elderly.

“I sit with them if they need someone to talk to or run an errand,” she said.

McMorrow does not do this o\through any larger organization. She cares for her family and friends and makes connections that way. She originally began volunteering when she was a student at McCaskey, at what is now called the Golden Living Center located on Duke Street. While in high school, talking to and participating in recreational activities with elderly people sparked a lifelong passion.

Finally, I reached my favorite question to ask.

“If you could give one piece of advice to the entire F&M campus, what would it be?”

Again her kindness shined through.

“Not to be too quick to judge a book by its cover,” said McMorrow. “Some people are more fortunate than others, but everybody should be treated as an equal. The bullying thing is what I’m getting down to.”

There you have it, readers, a message of warmth in these cold days from McMorrow, a woman who dedicates her time to bettering the lives of others.

You can reach the local Golden Living Center location at 425 N. Duke St., Lancaster, PA, by calling (717)-397-4281, or by emailing

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Senior Jack Pinsky is a contributing writer. His email is