Building cardboard food trucks have been an important summer activity for the past few years at Aim High’s Mission District campus. Inspired by the short documentary Caine’s Arcade, which tells of an imaginative 9-year-old who spends his summer vacation constructing a cardboard arcade in his father’s auto shop, Aim High’s food trucks give students the opportunity to explore cuisines and cooking while getting creative.

On a sunny Friday this summer, students from the Mission campus ventured outside the classroom to gather research and ideas for their own ‘food trucks.’ Seeking gastronomic inspiration, a group of students students visited SoMa StreEat Food Park where they tried food from a rotating array of vendors, while another group stopped by Pica Pica, a Venezuelan arepa restaurant, owned by former Aim High Trustee Adriana López Vermut. A final group went to ¡Venga! Empanadas, where they were greeted by the chef who shared his culinary wisdom and gave a tour of the kitchen.

With inspiration in tow, students returned to campus to begin constructing their own food trucks and preparing their own delicacies. The activity culminated with students and teachers exchanging their treats and bartering. Among the extensive list of food students prepared was fresh watermelon juice, ice cream sandwiches, tostadas de pollo, and much, much more. See photos below.

Students at the Mission District campus weren’t alone in their exploration and study of food. Food justice is an essential part of Aim High’s seventh grade curriculum. Students from across all 17 sites learned about the food web and ecosystems, the global food industry, and human impacts of food choice.

Mission Site Directors Miguel Castro (left) and Jessie Escobar (right) joined in on the fun and created a delicious ‘global/local’ treat: Chicken salad on Japanese rice crackers, topped with serrano tomatillo sauce, Incan plantain chips, and totopo chips.
Students created ice cream sandwiches to eat.
…and they created ice cream sandwiches to wear!
Students and teachers were very proud of their edible creations.

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