DISD To Launch Student-Run Food Truck

Curbside Delights
Curbside Delights | Image by Dallas ISD

A new food truck will serve student-made snacks on Dallas ISD campuses next term.

Curbside Delights is a student-run initiative made possible through a partnership between Dallas ISD and Intuit, a financial software company. While the food truck will run throughout the 2024-2025 school year, it may debut as early as April.

The food truck program is the first of its kind in the state, as a news release from Dallas ISD stated. It will mobilize students in an array of career pathways — such as entrepreneurship, hospitality, and graphic design — at every phase of the endeavor.

“I’ve never operated a food truck before,” explained Melvin Hicks, an 18-year-old pursuing training in the culinary arts at Moisés E. Molina High School, according to D Magazine. “Once I get there, it’s going to humble some people — it’s going to humble me as well. The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know. So, there’s just more to be discovered about it.”

Intuit has partnered with school districts in California and Nevada to provide students with a work-based learning experience by operating food trucks on their campuses. Its decision to collaborate with Dallas ISD was bolstered by the district’s wide range of offerings in career and technical education (CTE).

“When we decided to launch the food truck program, we thought about Dallas ISD because it has such a strong reputation for being an innovative leader in career and technical education,” said Dave Zasada, Intuit vice president, in a news release.

“Kids today can’t be kept engaged with pencil, paper, and a book. They want to work on real-world projects and activities, and the food truck program is a great way to do that,” he said.

Dallas ISD students will control all aspects of Curbside Delights, including obtaining necessary permits, designing a marketing campaign, developing menus, making and serving food, and running the day-to-day operations. The profit generated will go back into the CTE programs involved in the project.

Each Dallas ISD campus will take turns managing Curbside Delights and selecting its menu items, which will be served over the course of three to four weeks.

“I wanted to make sure that we had a place located on it where we can do a removable menu so that each school can basically provide their own menu,” said Jason Hamilton, Dallas ISD’s CTE coordinator, according to D Magazine. “We didn’t want to take their creativity away from the students at the schools and their identity. That was very big for us.”

Although Dallas ISD officials have been striving to boost career pathways for students, such as through the creation of its career institutes, its academic record has been lackluster in recent years.

In 2021-2022, 86 Dallas ISD campuses earned a D or F rating for student achievement outcomes, according to the latest accountability reports from the Texas Education Agency. Moreover, only 41% of students scored at grade level on STAAR exams that same school year and nearly 20% of graduating seniors did not obtain a diploma within four years.

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