JCPS students get voice on their school meal - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

JCPS students get voice on their school meal

Eleven students taste-tested what they'll see on their future school lunch menus. (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News) Eleven students taste-tested what they'll see on their future school lunch menus. (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News)
Michaela Allen (Source; Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News) Michaela Allen (Source; Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News)
Christopher Byrd (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News) Christopher Byrd (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News)
The students filled out a form to provide their responses to each item served. (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News) The students filled out a form to provide their responses to each item served. (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News)
The foods taste-tested ranged from turkey bacon to gingerbread men. (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News) The foods taste-tested ranged from turkey bacon to gingerbread men. (Source: Sharon Yoo, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - What do you think of school lunches? While those cafeteria meals may have a bad rep, Jefferson County Public Schools is hoping to change cafeteria reputation this National School Lunch Week. For honest input, the school district turned to some of their customers - JCPS students.
 
They say "the customer is king," right? If Seneca High’s cafeteria were a restaurant, the students would technically be king.
 
Senior Michaela Allen bites into a pita chip and smiles politely. It's one of those smiles that indicate the chip wasn't that fantastic. It's not a good sign.

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"The hummus, I think it's really spicy - at least for me," Allen explained.
 
There's no shortage of honest answers as 11 students taste-tested what they'll see on their future school lunch menus.

"Growing up we always hated the food we ate," Allen said. "It's like, 'ugh, school food. I'll just bring mine from home.' So it's actually really cool that we get to choose."
 
What better judge of the cafeteria food than the ones who eat it five days a week? Christopher Byrd, the JCPS executive chef, promises his feelings won't be hurt.

"I like the brutal honesty especially with the things we don't like," Byrd said. "When I observe schools I look at the trash cans as much as what’s coming off the lines."
 
From turkey bacon to gingerbread men, texture, taste and seasoning are all up for critique.

"Out of everything we've tried, I think my favorite is definitely the turkey bacon," Allen said.
 
Teenagers may be hard to please but this isn't just about giving them what they want at noon. It's about empowerment as well.
 
"It gives us a chance to feel like we actually have a decision in our food making," Allen said.

"Taste varies so much from person to person we wanted to have a varied collection of responses to the food we would like to offer or offer," Byrd said.

Here's to hoping that Sloppy Joe's will only make an appearance once in awhile.

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