Food Show Gives Students A Voice In Cafeteria Offerings

Food Show Gives Students A Voice In Cafeteria Offerings

Rani Patel, Heli Patel, and Stephanie Patel from Farragut High School enjoy samples at the 23rd KCS Food Show at the Knoxville Expo Center on Thursday, Feb. 9.

Over 600 eager students took a trip to the Knoxville Expo Center on Thursday for the 23rd KCS Food Show, where food vendors from across the country showcase their new offerings to students. 

There were more than 250 samples from 54 manufacturers, including everything from a pancake bowl to ravioli, for students to taste. The theme for this year’s Food Show was Try-day Thursday, encouraging students to explore new food.

“They really enjoy it,” said Paul Parson, a KCS nutrition school area supervisor. “Some of them were trying things they’ve never had before. It’s a very positive experience, and we want them to have a voice.”

Students voted for items they like, and nutrition supervisors will tally up the votes. The menu items with the highest votes are then taken under consideration to be added to next year’s menu for all schools in the district. 

“We want kids to enjoy their food, and it’s nice when they see something on the menu that they had a voice in, that they matter,” Parson said. He added that all food at the show met the federal nutrition requirements.

Rani Patel from Farragut High School attended the show with her health and wellness class. 

“I genuinely do really like it. It’s a good experience,” Patel said. “We’ve learned a lot about how school cafeterias should benefit children, so this is a good way for us to promote that, to help other kids.”