Kankakee university lunches go cellular with new foods truck | Community News

Rebecca R. Ammons

KANKAKEE — Dawn Botensten, food companies director for Kankakee University District 111, started tearing up while reciting the mission of the district’s new foods truck for the duration of a new Kankakee Faculty Board conference.

The mission is “to deliver scrumptious, balanced foods to all corners of our community,” and “to give learners chances to find out and direct by the culinary arts.”

“I’m stunned I’m not crying even a lot more,” Botensten stated. “It’s just these kinds of a terrific possibility for our community to be in a position to strike all various corners of our [community]. I have a plethora of concepts of how we can make use of this with our pupils.”

The district a short while ago procured a food items truck from Chatterbox Food items Truck Manufacturing in Syracuse, Ind., for $57,000 making use of grants offered by No Kid Hungry and the Head Start out plan.

The unofficial title of the district’s new foods truck is Kay’s Kitchen area.

Botensten said she expended six months investigating functions the district would want to run its personal food stuff truck, and the business thoroughly personalized it to her technical specs.

“It’s been a labor of really like,” she explained.

The truck incorporates a entire, operating cell kitchen area with generator, electrical power, hand-washing sink and “anything that the health department would want us to have to retain our food stuff secure,” Botensten stated. The truck also options a flat grill, char grill, pizza oven, salad and sandwich station, cooler, and freezer.

“Literally 1 of my desires is to have a foods truck,” Botensten explained. “And the attractiveness of it is, the food stuff service section will be capable to go to community areas and provide meals to college students that just can’t get to schools.”

She reported the district strategies to have the truck up and operating as soon as the Kankakee County Wellbeing Division approves the district’s software and completes a last walk-by inspection.

Meals service staff members will work the truck for a to-be-determined window of time through college several hours Monday as a result of Friday.

All pupils in the district are eligible to obtain free of charge breakfast and lunch thanks to the substantial proportion of college students that qualify, so these meals will be free of charge as effectively.

The truck will prevent in communal spots this kind of as parks or church parking loads for students and mother and father to come get meals it will not be providing foods doorway-to-doorway.

When setting up for the 2020-2021 college yr, the district anticipated families could possibly have difficulties receiving to school to decide on up seize-and-go foods, as hybrid finding out would be the most important method of instruction even though some would be absolutely distant.

“We felt that we could capture much more of our learners in the district and supply them a wholesome food with the food items truck,” Botensten stated. “A lot of parents have hassle acquiring to the unique university, so we are going to deliver the foods to them.”

Daily menus will mimic the frequent lunch menus at college and will possible contain a sandwich, salad and very hot meals product.

The food items services section should adhere to the similar nutritional guidelines they follow for in-school lunches whilst running the truck.

On the other hand, Botensten stated she is ready to just take requests.

“I even now have to make certain that it suits the recommendations, but I’m keen to perform with that,” she stated. “I’ve taken restaurant-high-quality merchandise and designed it into food company.”

The district is also scheduling to carry the foodstuff truck to neighborhood situations and farmers markets, where by the menu would be far more flexible.

If it will get well being office acceptance in time, the district’s aim is to carry the truck to the closing Kankakee Farmers Marketplace of the period Oct. 31.

The truck could also make its way to the city’s Sandwich With a Side of Jam series.

Kankakee Superior School’s culinary arts software will also be included in bringing the truck out for local community for activities, working with it as a culinary and enterprise discovering prospect for learners, Botensten stated.

The district is at this time finalizing a logo to paint on the food stuff truck its layout will be influenced by pupil-submitted artwork.

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