Students wary of raising expectations for new district food truck

Thomas Cross, Online Editor

Juniors, seniors and and long-time faculty members remember the days when food trucks served Akins students during lunch. Chick-fil-A as well as the Fire and Soul food truck offered alternatives to the usual selections found within the cafeteria.

Because of legal issues that prevent food vendors besides the cafeteria to serve students during the school day, the food trucks were relocated across the street. Despite their popularity, the food trucks only lasted in their location for about a month before disappearing altogether. This was because students who did not have permission to be off campus during lunch were venturing off campus to purchase items from the food trucks.

At the time, there seemed to be no replacement for the food truck nor a plan to find a new one. The food trucks seemed to have disappeared forever.

Meanwhile, across town at Anderson High School in October of 2015, the school district introduced its first food truck serving just that campus.. The Nacho Average Food Truck was stationary there and did not allow other schools within Austin ISD the same opportunity of having a food truck.

However, the week before Spring Break, Austin ISD introduced a second food truck that is capable of moving around to different campuses. This food truck will rotate to a different high school every day.

This is not the first time that the district introduced new food options to students at Akins this year. In September, the district unveiled some new food options that were created by a new district chef.

Lured with the promises of delicious Herb Toasted Ham & Cheese sandwiches and fresh salads, many students were excited about the potential of the new offerings.  Admittedly, I understand that there is no possible way that the cafeteria workers can provide chef-prepared quality food to 2,700 students every day. With that being said, the new options have been fairly lackluster. The salads still have yet to be seen in the cafeteria seven months later, and the sandwiches that I personally was looking forward to have not been offered frequently, and when they have been offered, I was extremely disappointed.

The options in the Breakfast-in-the Classroom service have also been disappointing due not only to lack of quality, but lack of quantity. Many times I have walked into the classroom, hoping to get breakfast at school since I didn’t have any before I left my house, only to find there is no food left. If I do manage to secure breakfast, I often find myself with dry toast or nutrition bars, neither of which are particularly appealing. There have been a few popular items, such as the yogurt parfaits. These show up once every couple of weeks and I do not find this as an acceptable trade-off. 

My main worry about the new food truck is that it will be a repeat of the new food options in the cafeteria.  The food truck does seem to have potential. The food trucks will feature different types of burgers as well as salads. The food trucks offered samples to give students a taste of what the food will be like and many enjoyed it.  

However, many students, including myself, are skeptical that it will live up to our hopes of having something like what students can buy off campus at Chick-fil-a or other popular restaurants.I am not going to let my hopes rise too quickly, lest they be shattered once more.

The disappearance of the food trucks was upsetting. The Breakfast-in-the Classroom has been disappointing. I am hoping that the Nacho Average Food Truck will have better luck than its predecessors.