Students who are part of the summer program at Whittier Elementary got a chance to preview some food items that could end up on their lunch menu this upcoming school year.
“They taste better than some of the items on last year’s menu,” said sixth-grader Aaron Tello.
The 10-year-old and his classmates sampled the breakfast taco and veggie pasta salad during lunch Wednesday afternoon.
“For the egg with tacos I’m not a big fan of eggs so it’s kinda not really good for me and the pasta was kinda cold so I didn’t really like it,” said seventh-grader Kayla Faban.
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Chicago Public Schools is putting its own spin on the Taste of Chicago and having students “taste and tell” by filling out a survey and using emojis to rate the food options.
“Most of the kids don’t eat the food here and like I personally, my son, I have to give him lunch every single day,” said CPS parent Daisy Navarrete. “For them to actually have a say in it— it’s awesome.”
The taste event is one of 40 happening across the district this summer. CPS is hoping to get feedback from parents and students on how everything tasted, and will use that information to decide what changes to make and what will go on the final lunch menu.
“We’re a big district so it’s going to take us a while to get everything we want to fix in food service,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “But I want this to be a big start.”
CPS is working with two food vendors to finalize the menu before the start of the school year. The CEO said having students share their feedback on this type of scale is something they have never done before.
“I want students to enjoy the food because again, when they don’t eat because they don’t like it that affects their learning,” he said. “For our families we want to make sure that they know the food is nutritious and that they like it.”