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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Policy change eliminates food trucks during school-day events like Turkey Trot

Amy Miao
Food trucks were missing on the Nov. 21 Turkey Trot, and will continue to be banned in most future events involving them.

Food trucks, a staple of the school’s annual Turkey Trot event, were missing from this year’s event on Nov. 21 following a recent policy change that bans the sale of food other than that from the cafeteria on campus during lunch unless the food is given out for free.

As a result of this policy, other lunchtime events like the Multicultural Festival will also no longer have food trucks, though external food will still be allowed during after-school events like class officer-led boba fundraisers. 

The policy was implemented to adhere to the nutrition standards of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Universal Meals Program, which dictates that school lunches must be free. Due to the high costs of food truck meals, they do not correspond with the advocacy for free lunch that the NSLP has strived for. 

Additionally, per the information available on California Department of Education website regarding NSLP guidelines, the NSLP nutrition standards measure aspects such as fruit and vegetable intake, calorie intake and fluid milk intake to build a set of components to school meals. This set of measurements cannot be achieved with the food trucks and affects their alignment with the lunch program’s protocols.

“Food from food trucks at Turkey Trot do not meet those standards,” assistant principal Kristen Cunningham said.

According to ASB clubs commissioner Carine Chan, another reason behind the change was to reduce competition with the school cafeteria.

SHS previously permitted the sale of food on campus from outside vendors for a maximum of two days per school year, which was usually reserved for Club Fest and the Turkey Trot, Chan said. 

To replace the loss of food trucks during the Turkey Trot, ASB gave out free cupcakes from Safeway and pizza from Costco to individuals attending the event, using the fact that they were still allowed to distribute lunchtime food as long as it was free. 

Additionally, the senior class office brought back the previously discontinued tradition of the “Turkey Up Your Teacher” event, where students were encouraged to donate money to benefit the Class of 2024 in jars corresponding to different teachers. The teacher with the most donations ended up being Biology teacher Kelly Nicholson. She dressed up as a turkey all day.

For Club Fest on March 22, one idea ASB is planning is to replace food trucks and set up a flea market either during lunch or after school where clubs can sell crafts and other goods to show off their club.

Despite the food-related setback, Cunningham reiterated that ASB remains committed to ensuring that the Turkey Trot and other future school events remain an exciting experience for all who participate.

“We look forward to collaborating with Leadership students and our student body in putting our heads together to think of new, creative ways to make these events memorable,” Cunningham said.

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