New Food Truck Debuts at Lamar High School

October 25 saw an exciting, new change for school lunch options for Lamar’s high school students with the debut of the RE-2 School District’s shiny new food truck.  Starting this school year, school lunches in Colorado are free to ALL students, from pre-K to high school, due to Proposition FF being voted for at the 2022 election.  The school cafeteria is still providing lunches as usual, but the truck allows for additional healthy and innovative options for the students.  It gives the district a unique opportunity to allow students to try foods they may have never heard of or been able to taste before.

The truck is operated by Chartwells School Dining Services, who employ a chef to design the meals.   The menus are on a rotating, two-week cycle, with each cycle having a theme, always offering the students 3 choices of meals.   The truck has a large LED screen under the retractable awning on the exterior, displaying the current menu choices. The first two weeks saw Mexican food on the menu, while the current theme is Asian food.  An example of foods served during the Asian theme include Vietnamese Pho Beef Bowl, Yokohama Pork Bowl, and Korean Chicken & Spaghetti Noodle Bowl.  Also available are fresh whole fruit, chilled mixed fruit, both regular and chocolate milk, and water.

As with the high school cafeteria, meals served from the truck are prepared at the district’s Central Kitchen.   Monthly menus are available on the district’s website: under the Food Service tab.  A new feature should be operational by next week:  the ability for students to place “pickup” orders via their school-supplied Chromebooks, streamlining the lunch ordering process.   Andrew Strenger, Director of Food Services for Chartwells, mans the truck at the high school.  The Prowers Journal spoke with him in preparation for this article and we were struck by how excited he was to be able to offer students “something different.”  He told us that many students tend to eat off-campus during their lunch hour, but that he encourages them to try the offerings from the food truck as well, since it’s free to them, adding that “they’re growing kids” and may need the extra nourishment the truck provides.

If you’re wondering who provided the funds for the district to purchase the truck, the Prowers Journal also spoke with the Lamar School District Superintendent, Dr. Chad Krug.  Dr. Krug explained that due to the Covid pandemic, federal (and ultimately state and local) relief funds were made available to the district which allowed them to purchase the truck.   He told us the district is excited about the potential many uses for the food truck in addition to the high school meals.   He noted that it can serve as a mobile concession stand for events such as softball and soccer games as well as community events.   He remarked that “add the food truck to any event and it becomes a party.”   The citizens of Lamar will likely see it at a lot of future events, the first of which will be the Lamar Parade of Lights this year.

A contest was held for students to pick a name for the truck.  As of this writing, the top 5 choices were: 1) Bison Bites, 2) Rolling Thunder, 3) Taste the Thunder, 4) Thunder Wagon and 5) Thunder Truck.   Once the winning name has been decided upon, a custom vinyl wrap (similar to the one on the Thunder Bus) will be applied.  The design will be the brainchild of high school art teacher John Gersick and his students.  The Prowers Journal will do a follow-up story once the name has been chosen and the wrap applied.

By Barbara Crimond

Filed Under: Consumer IssuesEducationFeatured


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