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Black-owned food company brings plant-based meals to Dallas schools

KERA | By Solomon Wilson

Published December 17, 2021 at 10:50 AM CST

Chef Cynthia Nevels, CEO and owner of Soulgood, is collaborating with Dallas ISD to bring flavorful, healthy meals to cafeteria menus.

As a mom, Cynthia Nevels knows it’s no easy task getting kids to eat their vegetables. But with a son on a strict diet due to health complications, Nevels was determined to craft healthy meals without sacrificing taste. “A need for making the food appealing to children inside of the school, like providing healthier food options but yet making it something that's appealing and relatable, that's the key," Nevels said.

Nevels was inspired to launch her North Texas-based vegan food company, Soulgood, by people who admired her son's meals as they would attend regular doctor's appointments.

Now, as a consultant for Dallas ISD’s Food and Child Nutrition Services department, Nevels is bringing awareness to the lack of food options for children leading a plant-based lifestyle. She and DISD are working to plan pop-up events for students and faculty next year.

Michael Rosenberger, DISD's executive director of Food and Child Nutrition Services, says more students are exploring vegetarian and vegan options, and it's important for the district to keep up. "Food justice is social justice," Rosenberger said. "Our goal is to provide equitable meal service to all our students, wherever they are, and give them the best fuel for their bodies."

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