News from Dr. Cruz: Nacho Average Food Services
The old-school cafeteria lunch is a thing of the past at Austin ISD. Under the direction of Anneliese Tanner, our food services department is mixing things up—and getting rave reviews.
Breakfast in the classroom has expanded from eight to 30 campuses this school year, and the response has been very positive. Breakfast participation is up more than 50 percent at some campuses, and teachers have reported that having the morning meal together, "really builds a sense of community."
Building on the success of the Nacho Average Food Truck at Anderson High School, AISD is serving up a new option. This spring, our district's second food truck will hit the road and rotate among our other high school campuses.
Fresh, local ingredients are now a mainstay in our menus. There are at least three local ingredients offered at each campus every day, and on Farm Fresh Fridays, vegetables are featured from East Austin's own Johnson's Backyard Garden. We currently have 56 salad bars, and by the end of the school year, we will have them at every elementary school.
Along with these new choices comes a new way to learn about them. Students, families and staff can now see daily menus through the recently introduced free YumYummi Digital School Menus app.
Offering healthy meals is just one part of our district's overall effort to create positive learning environments and support the whole child. Thanks to everyone on our food services team for ensuring that students are well fed and ready to learn!
Paul Cruz, Ph.D.