Why eat boring barbecue inside a cafeteria when you can eat it outside on a sunny day in a “cool” atmosphere?
That’s the question the folks at Sodexo are posing to students at high schools in Rock Hill as they bring “Street Eatz,” a food truck, to the schools in an attempt to get more kids to eat nutritious school lunches.
“Food trucks are the latest culinary craze,” said Jeffrey Clarke, Sodexo’s area general manager. “This brand-new concept brings the food truck-type experience to a high school campus.”
The truck, which is actually just a trailer, is one of a handful of food trucks and trailers Sodexo has at schools across the country, Clarke said. Rock Hill is in on the very beginning phases of this new strategy to appeal to young people.
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In the future, Clarke said he can foresee utilizing the truck at other school-related events, like senior picnics, elementary school field days and the city’s annual “Countdown to Kindergarten” event downtown.
The trailer is covered in bright graffiti and will spend a three-day week each at Northwestern, Rock Hill and South Pointe high schools, as long as the weather is nice. Clarke said the truck mighthead to York Comprehensive High on the off-days from Rock Hill.
Each week will have a different “theme,” such as chicken tenders or tacos. This week, Street Eatz served barbecue to Northwestern’s students. Clarke said he and his team worked hard to make the food taste great but also fit within the government’s strict nutritional guidelines.
“All our sauces are scratch-made, so they are very low-sodium,” he said. “We fit fruit and vegetables in through creative sides like a pineapple cucumber salad with jalapenos.”
Principal James Blake said the Northwestern students were excited about the new food option. He said they were requesting food items, such as hot dogs and kielbasa.
“They like the outdoor experience,” he said.
Northwestern and Rock Hill High both have lots of outdoor and courtyard space, which are “ideal” for the food truck experience, Clarke said. They’re still trying to figure out what to do with the truck at South Pointe.
In line at the truck on Thursday, sophomore Zay Mills said he was going to order the Carolina-style barbecue and the carrot-ginger salad.
“It’s kind of cool,” Mills said of the truck. “It’s something different.”