Tacos to free up student worries

By Jing Ye

Tacos are a perfect combination of affordability and variety. 

I’m shocked to see there is not even one taco truck on or around East Los Angeles College campus. 

ELAC lies in the center of East Los Angeles, where most Hispanic populations reside. 

One thing in common most students have is they all love tacos,

There are very few dining options in and around campus.  Currently on campus there is only the Husky cafe.

 The cafe offers $9 sandwiches, burgers and $6 cold snacks.

In the dining hall corner, there are three microwaves and one of which is broken. Students often have to wait in a long line for a long time to use them. 

  The choices are few and so are the customers.  Pacific Dining would not make a lot of profit with these few customers. 

 Most of the restaurants around campus are expensive for students’ incomes. 

 Some students live off government food assistance programs such as food stamps or “CalFresh.”

Students who rely on food stamps sometimes don’t have enough cash to eat at the restaurants around here or at the cafe. 

From Oct. 3 until Oct. 30, there is a Taco Tuesday event in Building E1, room 188. 

 Every Tuesday of the week, students can register for Fall 2023 short-term classes and enjoy free tacos, small gifts, cute bags and gift cards.

ELAC students would be happy to welcome taco trucks with open arms.

“Yes I would definitely choose tacos if there is a taco truck nearby. I don’t have much money and tacos are cheap. $2 would be the best deal I could think of,” ELAC student Celia Chavez said.

ELAC staff would also benefit from the taco trucks.

“That way I don’t have to stay up late and bring lunch everyday and I don’t have to eat cold sandwiches.  I like tacos because they are hot, delicious, and of course, cheap.,” Juan Rodriguez said.

ELAC student Maria Gomez has diabetes and often relies on having a small snack to regulate her blood sugar. 

“I have to eat in small portions and many times a day. Otherwise my blood sugar level goes low and I get dizzy. One time I fainted during class. If there’s a taco truck, I can eat a small taco and it’ll be fine,” Gomez said. 

ELAC Vice President Michael Pascual said the dining program at the school is under contract with Pacific Dining Company which was authorized by Los AngelesCommunity College District.

 It caters to elementary schools, high school and community colleges. 

Pacific Dining provides food and drinks for all the vending machines and cafes on school campuses in L.A. County.

The contract of Pacific Dining Company started in 2017 and is valid for 10 years. 

In order for a taco truck to come onto the campus, it must be subcontracted from Pacific Dining in off seasons like they did during the summer semester.

Most importantly, taco trucks must meet all the health guidelines of L.A. County, have valid relevant insurance and comply with health codes.  

VP Pascual and Assitant Vice President Nghi Nghiem mentioned that they had a meeting on October third  about the dining options on campus. 

The meeting was held because there are many complaints about limited dining options on campus. 

The action plan that came out of the meeting was  to conduct a survey on campus to learn about what the students and the staff members really want to see regarding dining options. 

The survey will ask the students and the staff about their opinions on dining. Students should look out for it.

Students can make a difference by filling them out and giving constructive suggestions. 

After the survey, the school administration can make suggestions to Pacific Dining and maybe more food options would be available in the near future.

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