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District Five unveils food truck for student meals, summer food program

IRMO, SC – Cafeteria meals in Lexington-Richland School District Five are hitting the road this summer. District Five’s Student Nutrition Department unveiled the district’s new food truck on June 29, providing meals and lessons on nutrition to students at two local apartment complexes.

Funded through sponsorships and grants, District Five’s “Pronto Taco” food truck will be used to serve high school students throughout the school year and deliver food to students in need as part of a federal summer food program. The food truck was piloted at high schools this spring, serving burrito and taco menu items that meet national guidelines for school meals. Officials with the district’s Student Nutrition Department say the food truck is part of a continued effort to provide healthy meal options to students in District Five and serve more students in need during the summer.

“We’re told we’re one of the only districts in North or South Carolina with a food truck,” said District Five Student Nutrition Director Todd Bedenbaugh. “For us, it’s one more tool to ensure that our students are getting nutritious, well-balanced meals year-round. We are grateful to sponsors like WP Rawls and PepsiCo for making this possible, and we look forward to providing this exciting expansion of our food services to the students in District Five.”

Nearly 90 students will be served daily at the two apartment complexes the food truck will visit this summer. Pronto Taco will rotate among the district’s four high schools next school year; serving cafeteria-prepared options like Nachos with Queso, Pico De Gallo, and Chicken or Beef Tacos and Burritos to students at Chapin, Dutch Fork, Irmo and Spring Hill high schools.

PepsiCo School Sales Specialist Stacey Cosentino said the company jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the district’s food truck and promote year-round healthy meals.

“We feel it’s important throughout the entire school year to promote healthy snacks and meals,” Cosentino said during the June 29 unveiling. “Also during the summer, there are many kids that don’t have access to meals. We wanted to be able to do whatever we can to help offer a healthy and fun option for the kids…not only are they eating healthy, it’s also something that they really like.”

The new food truck is the latest of several initiatives and programs promoting healthy meals in District Five through grants and sponsorships. In May, the district’s Student Nutrition Department hosted a “Chopped” cooking contest for fourth grade students as part of District Five’s federal Farm to Five grant. The program also has included summer training for cafeteria staff, teacher and staff field trips to local farms, and upgrades to several school gardens. District Five’s federally funded Seamless Summer Food Service Program began on June 8 and will be available through Aug. 6, Monday through Thursday at several open sites including: Irmo High School, Harbison West Elementary, Seven Oaks Elementary and Dutch Fork High School. The food truck will serve students at Irmo area apartments through the first week of August.

Bedenbaugh said, “We’re committed to providing fresh, high quality local food to all our students. The new food truck is another way we’re making food in our schools fun and exciting and getting healthy meals to the students in District Five.”

 

Photo caption

Students at Spring Hill High School line up to order from the district’s new “Pronto Taco” food truck during a pilot of the vehicle this spring. Funded through sponsorships and grants, District Five’s “Pronto Taco” food truck will be used to serve high school students throughout the school year and deliver food to students in need as part of a federal summer feeding program.

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