Los Fresnos adds food truck to lunchtime options
By GARY LONG
Lunch served from a food truck is a new option at Los Fresnos High School this year, one of several designed to make school lunch not so much like school lunch.
Fish tacos were on the menu Tuesday, one day after the food truck fajita tacos met with widespread student approval.
“The food is better, not better but something different,” said Paula Carrizales, a senior.
A friend, Jacob Borders, added that “the salsa is finally hot and the fish tacos are good,” an opinion she shared. “The food is actually good,” she repeated, referring generally to the different menu options available at lunchtime and not just the food truck, which made its debut on Monday.
The Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District recently contracted with Arizona-based Southwest Food Excellence to operate the district’s food and nutrition services. The result has been more breakfast and lunchtime options for students, but with everything meeting U.S. Department of Agriculture and Texas Department of Agriculture guidelines, district officials said.
Rey Ovalle, chief nutritionist with SFE, said the idea with the food truck is to get students excited about lunch.
“Basically we want them to eat lunch, so we’re giving them something they haven’t seen before,” he said.
The cafeteria at Los Fresnos High School doesn’t look much like a traditional school lunch room. Instead, four serving lines compete for students’ attention, including a traditional line where things like fried chicken, Salisbury steak and chicken fried steak are on the menu, the Luigi line with pizza, pasta and Italian specialties, the ball park line, where hot dogs, hamburgers, chili dogs and tacos are featured, and the Red Dragon line for Asian specialties such as orange chicken.
The food truck will feature street tacos, barbecue and eventually sushi, Ovalle said.
Thanks to the NutriSlice smart phone app implemented last year “we’re able to do surveys to see what they want. It helps us to see what’s popular, if something’s too spicy. We can adjust our menus,” he said.
Miranda Barbosa, a cheerleader and a senior, said the food truck is a good idea.
“It’s not like school lunch, there’s variety,” she said. “It was packed yesterday, everyone was there. They had all the toppings, sour cream, pico de gallo, refried beans.”
The truck will be available at different locations throughout the school year. A second food truck will be available at the Los Fresnos United ninth and 10th grade campus later in September, the district said.