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Food Services Facility Tours Give a Taste of What’s Cooking at HISD Schools

January 10, 2013 @ 10:42 am
Julie Spreckelmeyer, director of HISD Food Services marketing and communications, talks to HFPW members about the Tortilla dining brand and the components of a typical school lunch.

Julie Spreckelmeyer, director of HISD Food Services marketing and communications, talks to HFPW members about the Tortilla dining brand and the components of a typical school lunch.

If you’ve ever wondered what students are being served in HISD’s cafeterias today, you’re not alone.

Tours of HISD’s 220,000-square-foot Food Services Support Facility are available throughout the year, and more than two dozen members of the Houston Food Policy Workgroup (HFPW) took advantage of one recently to see first-hand what it takes to provide fresh, nutritious meals to thousands of students at the district’s more than 280 campuses each day. (See related “Behind the Scenes” video here.)

As a part of the tour, visitors were treated to a typical lunch served at Tortilla, a Fresh-Mex concept dining option available at the high-school level. The meal consisted of ground turkey/beef tacos, charro beans, Spanish brown rice, roasted vegetables, and whole-grain cookies prepared in the district’s bakery. All of these items, along with fresh-made salsas, are available at most HISD high-school campuses. Every high school cafeteria is expected to have them before the end of the year.

“This is better than restaurant food and it tastes very fresh and homemade,” said Sonia Gilmore, a member of HFPW whose two children attend HISD schools. “My son always tells me how good the food is at his school, and now I’m happy I get to taste this, to see what he raves about.”

The visitors heard from HISD Food Services Senior Administrator Brian Giles on the benefits of the facility’s production and warehousing system and recent innovations to the district’s school menu. Giles also shared the steps being taken to increase local and sustainable purchasing and food-system practices.

If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please call HISD Food Services at 713-491-5834.

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