Florence 1 Food Truck Brings Fun, Healthy Food to Students
A new food truck has come to town, Serving Up Happy and Healthy. The food truck, a collaboration between Chartwells and Florence 1 Schools, was recently delivered, wrapped in district colors, and is ready to serve students. The first outing for the food truck was at Sneed Middle School on September 6.
Angela Price, Resident District Manager for Chartwells and Florence 1, said that the food truck is a way to encourage students to explore food in a fun way that they are already familiar with seeing in the community.
“This is a way to reach kids and get them engaged,” Price said. “A lot of people think that because food is healthy it can’t be fun but we want to get parents and kids excited about what we are doing and the food truck is part of that.”
The food truck is fully equipped to serve in a variety of settings with a hand washing station, a 6-burner stove, an oven, a flat-top grill, a prep station and a warming cabinet, along with a freezer and cooler.
Florence 1’s Chief Finance Officer Laura Showe said that the food truck is another creative way the district is reaching its students.
“The food truck is an innovative way to increase meal service to students, providing a healthy meal that supports effective instruction,” Showe said. “This is another step in making Florence 1 an innovative district for our students. How cool is it for students to be able to tell their friends, and maybe even post on social media, that they were getting their school lunch from a food truck?”
Price said that she is excited to see more students taking advantage of school lunches this year now that all students are able to eat breakfast and lunch for free.
“There is the old idea of what school lunch is, with the old cafeteria lady in the hairnet,” Price said. “School lunch is so much more than that now. Kids are eating for free this year but we still offer quality, delicious food and there are so many options every day.”
Price said that the food truck will have the same food as the cafeterias, including some of the menus that students see during themed days.
“With the food truck, we will try to do an elevated menu and incorporate some of the programs like Global Eats where there are themed menus like Indian food, Asian food, and The Melt, which is all about cheese,” Price said. “We also will be able to involve students in our Discovery Kitchen program. We are all about bringing happy and healthy meals and this is a way for us to bring all of these things together and get kids excited about school lunch again.”
The food truck has a monitor to display the menu and there will be two serving areas, one hot area where the culinary members running the truck will serve, and then a lower cold area where students will be able to serve themselves.
Executive Chef Katrina Smith said that she was excited to be unveiling the food truck to students at their first event.
“When you see a food truck, you think of carnivals and fun times,” Smith said. “We are excited about the food truck and our first event. It is nerve-wracking though and I still get the bubbleguts before a big event, making sure the food is ready and that everyone is upbeat and happy, enjoying themselves.”
Eventually, Price said, schools will be able to book the food truck, similarly to how they can schedule time on the district’s STEM bus or schedule visits to The Farm at Florence 1.
“This is going to be an amazing year,” Price said. “I’m so excited about being part of all the innovative programs happening in Florence 1.”