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JCHS jumpstarts food truck program

The Johnson County School Board unanimously approved for the JCHS Culinary Arts program to purchase a Homesteader Model concession trailer to launch a food truck for students. Online photo

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

Johnson County High School Culinary Arts program led by Travis Heath who was hired at the start of the 2020-2021 school year is launching a new hands-on type of “work-based learning opportunity” through its Rachel Ray Foundation Grant funding. JCHS was one of eight schools nationwide awarded this grant. Now the JCHS food truck idea from last January is coming to fruition at no cost to the school district.

CTE Director Herbie Adams went before the board to present his recommended trailer from the received bids. The trailer in question is a 2020 Homesteader Model concession trailer. R&M Trailer Sales offered this trailer for $13,500. The 7ft by 16 ft unit comes equipped with almost everything needed right off the lot. According to Adams, the only pieces of equipment missing are a fridge and generator.

For the near future, Adams says its primary use will be for catering. The culinary program caters for local events to practice cooking and raise money for the program. He plans to open it up to the public for purchases later on.

“This spring, my goal was to get it out to the elementary schools just like a normal food truck and let the teachers purchase from it,” Adams explained. “Our intentions are to maybe set it up in this parking lot behind Central Office next year and let the students run it.”

The School Board approved the purchase unanimously. Adams hopes to put the finishing touches on the food truck this summer, including allowing the students to add personal flair and logos for both the Rachel Ray Foundation and Johnson County Schools. Other than the food truck, JCHS has used Rachel Ray Foundation Grant funding for two interactive classroom televisions and additional equipment. According to Adams, they are not aware when the grant funds need to be used but would like to finish by the end of the school year.

The Johnson County School Board meets at Central Office at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. To attend digitally or view previous meeting archives, visit the Johnson County Schools TN Video Youtube channel.