CUSD students get busy in the kitchen

Left to right: Campus Catering Supervisor Kristy LeBeouf and Clovis West students Jesus Garcia, Luis Enriquez and Kiet Luu prepare burritos to be served during lunchtime as part of Clovis Unified’s National School Lunch Week activities held Oct. 15-19, 2018. DANIEL LEON/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

Clovis Unified School District capped its National School Lunch Week activities Friday inside the Clovis West cafeteria by serving a student-created lunch item – the “Golden Eagle Burrito.”

The weeklong event (Oct. 15-19) served as an opportunity for the district to promote and celebrate the availability of healthy lunches at school and all those who work to provide them.

“We’re letting others know about the work that we do all year,” said Kristy LeBeouf, a Campus Catering Supervisor with CUSD. “The opportunity to bring the kids in here, let them know what we do and let them experience it is a really cool opportunity.”

Earlier in the week, LeBeouf hosted a special nutrition education and meal preparation class for students in Clovis West’s Transition Program. During the class, students developed their own recipe  that meets the National School Lunch Program Guidelines. That’s where they came up with the school-themed burrito filled with fajita chicken, refried beans, Spanish rice and a Mexican cheese blend.

Students also learned about the different components that Campus Catering considers when planning meals, including USDA nutrition standards requiring whole grains, lean protein, low fat and low sodium meals in school.

“When we talked about making the recipe the other day, we talked about what we need to have in there, what we can’t have in there, and how to assemble it,” said LeBeouf. “Just even the process of putting it together is an experience – that hustle, the way we have to work really fast.”

On Friday, they put their new skills to use by assembling over 50 burritos to be served during lunchtime.

Jesus Garcia and Luis Enriquez were among the students participating in the weeklong program.

“It’s a great experience because we’re never back here [in the cafeteria],” said Garcia. “We [usually] just get lunch and then go out and eat, hang out with friends. It’s a good experience education-wise.”

Meanwhile his classmate has developed an appreciation for the work that goes behind the scenes.

“We’re learning all the kitchen work,” said Enriquez. “[Before] we really don’t know how it worked, we just got food. It’s a nice thing to know. It’s not easy.”

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy created National School Lunch Week to celebrate school nutrition staff and the valuable service they provide by feeding America’s school children.

Daniel Leon :A native of Woodlake, Daniel Leon is a recent graduate of Fresno State with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism. Daniel served as Sports Editor at The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper, prior to joining the Roundup. Got a story idea? Email him at editor@clovisroundup.com