One of El Paso’s hottest food trucks is being recognized for its business savvy and the entrepreneurship spirit of its operators, all of whom just happen to be students at Bowie High School.
Bowie’s Oso Good Food Truck, the public component of the Bowie Jardín, Cocina & Mercado Fund, recently won the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Year Award.
The program is operated by Chef Christopher Puga and the students enrolled in the school’s culinary arts program.
The Chamber said the truck has been successful at providing healthy meals to the students at Bowie and the patrons they serve at different events throughout the city.
The truck — from food preparation to mechanical maintenance — is fully operated by students.
“This award menas the world to these kids,” Chef Puga said. “Food has no boundaries and we have kids here from all over the borderland and this food truck is making a difference in their lives.”
The garden provides fresh produce for the meals.
Besides from focusing on health and nutrition, the truck and food program allows students to delve into potential future careers in the culinary arts program.
For senior Stephanie Villalobos, who currently serves as president of the food truck, the program has been life changing.
“I am so grateful that EPISD has given us this opportunity to learn about food preparation and the business behind it all,” she said. “I know that for many of us, it has opened up our eyes to what may be a solid career choice.”
The truck has had much support from the community. In 2017, a fund from the Paso del Norte Foundation helped raised $54,000 to purchase the truck and get the project going.
The goal of the program is to generate revenues that will be used to provide scholarships for students at Bowie interested in pursuing careers in hospitality and the culinary arts.
To donate to the Bowie Jardín, Cocina and Mercado Fund through the Paso del Norte Foundation, visit this link.