On Tuesday, April 30th, La Joya ISD hosted its 1st food expo.
This event was hosted at the Child Nutrition Center, which is an extension of central office. The CNS distributes the food around the district of La Joya to each of the 36 campuses.
Galina Reyes, Child Nutrition Director with a Bachelors in Science on specialty dietetics said that there was approximately 25,000 lunches and 19,000 breakfasts served every day, reaching a grand total of 45,000 meals daily.
A group of students from each elementary, middle school, and high school attended the expo to test the food and give their opinion on it, in order for the CNS to determine what food to serve during the upcoming school year.
“Taste, have fun,vote, and get to know them [the companies]” were the instructions that Reyes gave the students that attended.
The food comes from many sources from people that send products to stores like HEB and
Walmart to the brands that we (students) have had since childhood.
“The range of foods was better, more diverse than the typical lunch. We got opportunities to sample Chinese, American, Mexican, sweets, a huge variety of meats, and completely different forms of food i’ve been served since pre-K here at ljisd”, said Thomas Martinez, sophomore.
Eleud Alaniz, coordinator for child nutrition services in inventory and accountability, said that this was the only district that allowed their students to take part in the decision-making process of what foods are to be served.
The decision-making process consisted of students tasting the foods provided by varying companies, then the students rated the level of agreement based of factors like if they’ve ever tried the food before, how they liked the taste, and if they themselves would like to see those foods being served.The cafeteria managers of their respective school filled out they survey that CNS provided.
“Para mi fue muy importante porque a veces les damos comidas que tal vez no les gusta y me gusto mucho oír sus opiniones, me gusto esto, no me gusto el otro, y eso tomarle en cuenta porque al final del dia nosotros estamos para atenderlos. La opinión de nosotros es muy importante, nos gusta que participen en comer y que les guste, si les gusta van a participar”, said Olga L. Salinas, our cafeteria manager.
During the food expo, CNS shared that the summer food service program administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture will be serving nutritional and free meals for all children and teenagers under the age of 18.