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Food Day Celebrated At Riverbank High
1030 Serve
Riverbank High School senior Jasmine Rojas made her way around the quad with a tray full of stir-fry to share with the students and staff on Food Day. VIRGINIA STILL/The News

Riverbank High School’s Foods 1, Culinary Arts ROP (Regional Occupational Program) teacher, Nena Sandoval decided to participate in Food Day for the very first time on Thursday, Oct. 24.

According to, Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. The website also adds that Food Day aims to help people ‘eat real’ by cutting back on sugary drinks, overly salted packaged foods and fatty factory-farmed meats in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and sustainably raised protein.

One of the goals stated on the website for Food Day is to see shorter lines at the local fast food drive-thru and bigger crowds at farmers markets.

Across the country, 3,200 events took place in 2012 and 2,300 in 2011, from community festivals in Denver, Savannah, and New York, to a national conference in Washington DC, to thousands of school activities in Portland, Minneapolis, and elsewhere.

This is the first year Sandoval has participated in the Food Day celebration and she plans to make it annual event. The culinary students at RHS got the veggies together for the stir-fry that was on the menu for the day, including carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, and onions. Sandoval made the rice to complete the dish.

“I think this is very exciting because we can show kids that there is a healthy alternative to eating good food,” said FHA-HERO, President, Carolina Duarte.

The culinary students had their aprons on, trays filled, and the table set up ready to share the stir-fry with the Riverbank High School students.

Sandoval said she fully supported what Food Day is all about, noting that it is a great opportunity for students to learn about healthy eating and sustainable food practices.

“The kids have done a great job,” added Sandoval. “It was a great event as we were able to promote practical useful pertinent information that encourages healthy lifestyles and optimal health.”

Food Day was a success, according to Sandoval, as she received feedback from her students, the student body and staff.

“Everyone who tried the vegetable stir fry thought it was delicious and kudos go to my Culinary Arts ROP 3-4 students who made the stir fry,” said Sandoval.

The Culinary Arts class is very active on and off the RHS campus. The ROP Classes offer catering and have done catering for the school and for the City of Riverbank. Sandoval added that the largest catering job the students have had was in 2011 for 225 people, which included appetizers and desserts.

“The students were responsible for cooking, setting up, serving and clean up,” stated Sandoval. “That event was truly what ROP and work experience is all about.”

The ROP class is available to cater events at various times throughout the year and can create customized menus for the event and for the budget.

“I guarantee a professional demeanor and complete satisfaction from my students,” said Sandoval.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays during brunch on the RHS Campus you will find the Culinary Arts ROP class offering daily specials for the low-cost of $2 at the Bruin Bistro. Some of the specials that they have served up this year have been the Waffle Breakfast Sandwich, Bruin Breakfast Burger, Famous Fluffy Pancakes, Biscuits and Gravy, Breakfast Torta, and Breakfast Burritos. The Bruin Breakfast Rueben will be making a return, which was a favorite from last year. The Bruin Bistro also has the following items available on a regular basis: assorted bagels, mozzarella sticks, Sun Chips, Cup o Noodles, hot chocolate, Chai Latte, and assorted teas.

For more information regarding the catering contact Nena Sandoval at 209-869-1891 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or after 3 p.m. at 209-658-4250 or click on her name on the Riverbank High School website.