|The Los Altos City Council intends to make a real-life civics lesson out of a dispute between Los Altos High School and a food truck owner who wants to sell hamburgers and other fast foods to students.
The council will meet at Los Altos High School at a future date to take up the issue. At its last meeting, council member Ron Packard told his colleagues that it would be good for students to observe their local government in action. Members regard the December special meeting as a rare opportunity to involve students in a civics lesson based on a real-world issue in which they are directly involved.
The lunch truck, which is owned and operated by Julie Nguyen, parks on Jardin Avenue next to the school and offers students a variety of food items, snacks and beverages. Nguyen began parking the truck at lunch time at the beginning of the school year, and it quickly developed a large following among students who enjoyed the menu of burritos, hamburgers, fries and other fast food items.
District officials, including Superintendent Barry Groves, have not been pleased with the truck's presence, citing concerns about the low nutritional value of the food and keeping mobile peddlers away from public schools in Los Altos.
"Schools, and the area around them, are special places," Groves said in a statement. "We have special rules, laws and regulations that attend to this special status."
Allowing the lunch truck to remain just off campus, Groves said, might open the door for other peddlers. An exemption exists for peddlers during school functions and events.
Additionally, the district doesn't think the food served by Nguyen follows healthy guidelines adhered to in the cafeteria, which aims to serve low-fat and low-sugar foods to students. Soda, for instance, is not available anywhere on campus, but students can purchase a can of Coke or other soda at the lunch trunk.
"In public schools, we have federal, state and local regulations that outline the nutritional standards for all food and beverages sold on campus," Groves said.
The exact date of the meeting has yet to be announced. For more information, visit www.mvla.net.
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