AUSTIN, Texas, March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 84,000 students at Austin Independent School District (AISD) will benefit from a healthy and tasty school lunch makeover with a new food truck, healthy breakfasts in the classroom, made-to-order salad bars and farm-to-table scratch cooking. All of this supported by a $608,100 grant from the Minnesota-based Life Time Foundation, which has set its sights on improving school lunch programs across America.
Among the highlights at a grant presentation event held Friday at William B. Travis High School was the district's first mobile food vehicle aptly named, "Nacho Average Food Truck." Overseeing all of this positive change is Anneliese Tanner, Director, AISD Nutrition and Food Services, representing the newest partner of the Life Time Foundation, a public charity created by Life Time, which operates two health clubs in Austin.
Nacho Average Food Truck will hit the road and rotate among all AISD high school campuses with a fresh, around-the-world inspired burger menu featuring: a tasty Mekong burger topped with pineapple chutney and hoisin sauce; a Mediterranean burger topped with Greek salad, feta cheese and tzatziki sauce; a Tuscan burger topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and fresh basil; and a Yucatan burger topped with guacamole, pico de gallo and cotija cheese. The truck also will serve vegetable and/or fruit sides, and a milk to provide a complete school meal.
Tanner is incredibly passionate about the move to deliver healthy meals to students and her innovation shows through. "When it comes to school food, especially amongst our high school students, we have to constantly evolve and keep our menu items fresh and new," says Tanner. "My hope with Nacho Average Food Truck is to continue to educate students that clean, natural and wholesome foods are also delicious and to encourage them to change their eating habits now for a more healthy future."
When it's all said and done, the changes are in keeping with Life Time Foundation's nutrition philosophy and focus on helping schools to remove what it calls the "Harmful 7" from student breakfast and lunch menus. The Harmful 7 includes:
Trans Fats & Hydrogenated Oils
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Hormones and Antibiotics in animal production
Added and Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial Colors & Flavors
Tanner adds, "Our collaborative work with the Life Time Foundation goes beyond simply funding programs and products to include staff training on crucial skills as we add more scratch cooking, enabling us to deliver the healthy, nutritious and high-quality foods our students deserve each and every day."
"I'm truly excited about the work Annaliese and her staff have conducted over the 18 months since her arrival at AISD," said Life Time Foundation Executive Director, Barbara Koch. "Through our collaboration, we see the opportunity for AISD to be among the most progressive districts in the nation when it comes to serving healthy, nutritious foods. This grant represents the largest in the history of our Foundation, and we are proud to be a part of the tremendous, sustainable underway."
About Austin Independent School District AISD is the largest school district in central Texas, serving more than 83,000 students at 130 schools. Follow AISD on Facebook at www.facebook.com/austinisd, Instagram at @austinisd or on Twitter at @AustinISD.
About the Life Time Foundation As a public charity created by the Healthy Way of Life Company, Life Time®, the Life Time Foundation is on a mission to help schools eliminate the Harmful 7 from the food they serve so every child receives the healthy food they deserve. This simple, actionable and sustainable plan allows schools to eliminate highly processed and artificial foods in favor of wholesome, real food alternatives. Unlike many other charitable organizations in which a portion of donations is consumed by administrative costs, 100% of every dollar donated to the Life Time Foundation directly supports its mission because all administrative costs are contributed by Life Time Fitness, Inc. For more information, visit www.ltffoundation.org.
About Life Time®, Healthy Way of Life Life Time® is a privately held, comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging, healthy entertainment lifestyle company and brand that offers a personalized, proactive and scientific approach to long-term health and wellness. Through its portfolio of distinctive resort-like destinations, athletic events and corporate health services, Life Time helps members achieve their goals with a team of dedicated performers and exclusive programs, and an array of proprietary health assessments and services. As of March 28, 2017, the company operated 122 centers in 26 states and 35 major markets under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada. Additional information is available at www.lifetimefitness.com.