It seems like we read something every day about how important it is to eat healthy. But according to a recent article in The Atlantic, getting high school students to do that can be challenging, especially when they have to choose between uninspired cafeteria fare and their off-campus fast-food favorites.
So what’s the solution? You guessed it: food trucks! Last year, Colorado’s Boulder Valley School District became one of the first in the nation to use food trucks to serve school lunches. And Minneapolis, which started using “mobile feeding units” two years ago to provide free lunches to food-insecure children during the summer, will start serving school lunches from food trucks every day this spring.
Not surprisingly, students show a strong preference for the trucks, even when the menu is similar to the cafeteria’s. A big part of food trucks’ appeal is their looser, more casual “vibe” – for most kids, a brightly painted truck with music playing beats a cafeteria any day.
School-sponsored food trucks also make sense financially. Thanks to the trucks’ low overhead and ability to serve a lot of people efficiently, they are often more profitable than traditional “brick and mortar” options — and those profits can be reinvested right back into the community’s food-service program.
When What the Trucks was at West Roxbury High — quite a few years ago — school lunches were neither cool nor particularly healthy. But times have changed. Would food trucks be a viable option in Boston schools? We’re honestly not sure — but it’s certainly food for thought.