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Healthy, inventive and fully customizable meals highlight Texarkana ISD 2019-2020 breakfast and lunch menus

Our local students will be well-nourished with mouth-watering and healthy food.

That was the main takeaway from a special TISD media event and menu tasting at the Sullivan Performing Arts Center.

Texarkana ISD hosted the media today to showcase new breakfast and lunch menus for 2019-2020.

Our Executive Editor, Randa Thornton-Mason, was on the scene, and she came away singing the praises of the chef who created the delectable food. 

"It was all so delicious," our editor said. "I could not believe how Texarkana ISD menus have changed over the years."

"These are foods that are truly popular right now, and our young people will love them," said Thornton-Mason, who is familiar with school food from the past when she was a PTA President on two TISD campuses.

"With food this good, school attendance may skyrocket," said one person awed by the food choices.

The tasting menu featured Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches, Salsa Verde Pork Street Tacos, Korean Chicken Tacos along with creamy street corn and spring berry salad.

Our editor had high praise for the event, which was organized through the office of the hardworking Tina Veal-Gooch.

She said her favorite items were the Nashville Hot sandwich and the street taco, and she marveled at the tender loving care that went into planning student meals.

One of the most unique aspects of TISD's food offerings for 2019-2020 is the Tiger Food Truck, which will be traveling to local secondary campuses offering trendy food choices that local kids will want to eat.

Of course, all food meets the applicable standards, and any student (no matter their payment status) will be able to enjoy the variety of foods on offer in the Tiger Food Truck.

The mobile unit is fitted with equipment that allows both hot and cold food to be served. All meals are prepped, however, in TISD kitchens and transferred to the food truck for transport and serving.

Christie Lammers, director of nutrition, said the school district is trying to increase student acceptance of "whole, fresh foods" by decreasing the number of processed items and making wholesome food from scratch.

The work they are doing is exceptional, and TISD Executive Chef Cory House was on hand at the event.

The chef's own, unique recipes have been used in the development of food for all campuses, and worldwide food options are being opened up to our local students.

For instance, ethnic cuisines from India, Asia, Italy, America, France, Greece, Mexico, and Thailand are being embraced.

As the number of US citizens embracing vegetarianism has increased, all campuses will have vegetarian options daily, which helps showcase the school district's new reliance on whole fresh foods on every menu line — every day.

At TISD secondary campuses, five themed Food Court menu lines will be on offer. They include:
1) The Grill, which is American fare such as hot beef and chicken sandwiches;
2) The Wok, which offers Asian-themed entrees;
3) The Roost, which will be a chicken lovers dream;
4) The Courtyard, which features unique food such as Korean chicken tacos and a fresh take on nachos;
5) The Chef's Corner, which offers seasonal chef-created items daily.

Food carts are also being used to ensure that student-athletes and others can eat and get to the places they need to be at the right time.

Breakfast is not being left out of the food transformation either.

The "Build Your Own Breakfast Bar" will now be featured on every TISD campus. Each breakfast bar offers customization choices such as eight grains, four proteins, a wide array of 100% fruit juices, and fresh whole fruits. Also, there are multiple milk selections and vegetarian breakfast options.

For students in a hurry, "Grab & Go" breakfast meals will also be made available daily.

Food access is vital to TISD, and all of the new healthy food choices are fully available with students who have access to free breakfast and lunch programs on all campuses, including after-school program meals.

Indeed, after our editor saw the healthy food choices on offer, it was no surprise to her that the TISD Child Nutrition Department has been recognized by the State of Texas as "Best of the Bunch."

The access to fresh foods and new choices will also be extended to other areas, because TISD serves as the manager of foodservice for school districts in Bloomburg, De Kalb, Linden, Malta, McLeod, New Boston, and Redwater.

So rest easy, parents, your children will be getting all the nutrition they need, and it is both delicious and visually pleasing.
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