Students choose new lunch menu items
This week, students at Hot Springs World Class High School were given an opportunity to choose what they want to be added to their school lunch menu.
The high school is one of 150 schools across the country to launch Student Choice — a new program offered by food service partner Chartwells K12 — which allows students to taste and vote on new additions to their lunch menu.
Brittany Hardage, director of dining services at Hot Springs School District, said bringing the program to the high school was important because today’s students are looking for “a wider variety of foods and more global flavors on their lunch menus.”
“And Student Choice brings the latest food trends straight to the students, letting them decide how to expand their lunch menu,” she said.
Some of the options students sampled this week include Thai pineapple chicken, avocado cheddar burger and Nashville hot chicken sandwich.
“These options were chosen because while we offer six different entree options daily, these were flavors that students don’t typically see on their lunch menu,” Hardage said.
During their regular lunch periods, students took
part in a tasting event, sampling the variety of new items from different food station options, she said. Students then voted on their favorite.
“The menu that receives the most votes will be introduced into the cafeteria and served for the remainder of the month,” Hardage said. “Then, in January, we will start the whole process again by sampling more food station options and voting. We have an area in our cafe that will be a permanent home to Student Choice where we will be able to offer the students’ voted favorites every month.”
She said through this process, Chartwells hopes to offer students an opportunity to try more flavors they wouldn’t necessarily be offered any other time.
“We are committed to collaborating with students to re-imagine the school dining experience and get students excited about new foods and flavors, making the cafeteria a place they want to be,” she said.
TASTE TESTERS: Hot Springs World Class High School students, from left, Micah Ellis, Zoee Burns, Tillie Reagler and Liliana Boekhout get samples from Tammy Green with the food service company Chartwells Thursday as part of a Student Choice program, which allows students to taste new cafeteria menu items and vote on their favorites. The top votes will be added to the menu.