JONESBORO – More than 100 fifth and sixth graders will be on the campus of Arkansas State University Tuesday, March 14, for the Arkansas Food Cart Conference.
This event, hosted by the A-State Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy, will be held on the third floor of the Reng Student Union from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Students will be on campus learning about financial budgeting, healthy food choices, need versus want and logo design.
“These students have spent the past month or so creating their own ‘healthy food carts’ that sell healthy, or a healthier alternative, food items,” said Dr. Philip Tew, associate professor of finance.
“The competitors will be judged in written business plans, logos, menus, and demonstration videos explaining how to make the product and why it is healthier,” he continued.
A-State students Alyssa Pettit, a sophomore accounting major, along with Melanie Ricker, a graduate student in public administration, are leading the event.
Students from teams from across Northeast Arkansas will do live demonstrations before a panel of “celebrity judges” which includes Dr. Jim Washam, dean of the Neil Griffin College of Business, Jeffrey Higgins, owner of JTown’s Grill and The Social, and Meghan Cantara, retail manager of Sodexo.
The top ten teams will participate in the competition. From East Poinsett County three teams will present including The Delicious Dates, Granolios and Rae’s Rolls. From Brookland teams LK’s Chicken Dip and Citrus Cake Company will compete. Five teams from Valley View are Micro Pies, Cutie’s Clean Confections, Strips and Dip, Cous Cous Bowl, and Banana Sandwich.
Teams will have five minutes to discuss their projects, explain their ingredients, and why their product is a healthy or healthier alternative food item.
In addition to the competition, students will get to join in on three hands-on workshops including the grocery game, all about priorities and marketing madness.
The workshops will help the student participants foster critical thinking, communication, team building and problem-solving skills.
An awards ceremony will be held in Centennial Hall of the Student Union from 1 until 1:30 p.m.