Food truck offers limited menu choices

Jasmine Castillo, Opinion Editor

Junior Aaron Sam picks up his carnitas fries with chips and salsa from the food truck, number one on the truck’s menu.
Students line up Wednesday to choose one of four meal options from the Lodi Unified School District food truck.

Every Wednesday, students can be seen lining up to get a taste of the diverse foods offered at the new food truck parked outside the cafeteria area. The food truck ― available due to a grant Lodi Unified schools received over the past summer ― came as surprise to students, especially the freshman and sophomore classes, who are not allowed off campus to eat lunch.

“We applied for a grant to increase summer food access, which means we feed kids in the summertime when school is out,” Nancy Rostomily, Director of Nutrition Services at Lodi Unified School District, said. “We applied for a grant in order to get a food truck and provide more meals during summertime. It allows us to utilize it in the school year.”

“[The food truck is] more for profit rather than the enjoyment of students. The grant money should have gone towards more nutritious food.” -sophomore Laura Zamora

Profits from the food truck are used for central business costs and necessities, such as paying employees at the Nutrition and Services Department, truck maintenance such as gas and oil changes, and various food expenses.

Some students have questioned how certain items, such as fruit smoothies and sliders, were included in the menu.

“The Nutrition and Services Department collaborated on meal items that we thought would be popular,” Rosotomily said. “We do have nutrition regulations that we have to meet per the government in order to serve school lunch, so we have to work around those regulations and still make something that is appealing to the students.”

Although menu items from the food truck follow the same nutritional values as cafeteria food, items offered at the food truck offer more unique foods that display a more fast food taste for students rather than an overly noticeable nutritious meal.

“Items such as the chicken wings have an authentic taste unlike cafeteria food,” sophomore Makayla Silva said. “It’s flavorful unlike most options on the cafeteria’s menu.”

Many were unaware of the food truck due to the lack of advertisement. However, new food options, such as chicken wings and burritos, have served up mixed reactions from students.

“The food doesn’t differ from the food from the cafeteria,” sophomore Laura Zamora said. “The only thing worthwhile is the smoothies.”
“It’s okay, but it could be better,” sophomore Inderpreet Kaur said. “They could serve more options, preferably more vegetarian options.”

Some students said that rather than offering fresh options and flavors, the new food truck menu is a gimmick that uses the eye-catching modernity as a profit machine.

“I think it’s a waste of time and money,” senior Jasmine Shinn said. “It’s a way for Lodi Unified to seem hip.”

“In all honesty, changing the different foods is a cheap gimmick,” Zamora said. “It’s more for the profit rather than the enjoyment of students. The grant money should have gone towards more nutritious food that could be enjoyed by students at Bear Creek campus.”