Chico (CA) USD is rolling out a new in-house pizza program at its junior and senior high school cafeterias in an attempt to capture more participation from students used to branded commercial foodservice offerings, reports the Chico Enterprise Record. The school district used a $110,000 federal economic stimulus grant to purchase and install an automated pizza oven and associated equipment in its central kitchen, which it will use to produce some 300 pizzas an hour.
The pizzas are made with a whole wheat crust and red sauce that were both developed by the nutrition department to make them unique. To generate “buzz” for the new offering, the district has conducted taste testings by students and adult staff to gauge the acceptability of different formulations. Plans call for cheese, pepperoni, Hawaiian, chicken Alfredo and veggie pizzas, which will be offered at the different schools on a rotating basis. They replace a premade product that had been served up to this point.