As Canyons District students prepare to return to school on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, there’s one lesson Midvalley Elementary Principal Jeff Nalwalker hopes his students haven’t forgotten this summer: the importance of being kind.
Midvalley students received a first-hand lesson in the power of kindness during the last week of school before summer break when local taco stand, Tacos El Cuñado, showed up at lunchtime and distributed 650 free tacos to Midvalley’s students, teachers and staff.
The tacos are the best in the valley and lunch was delicious. But that wasn’t the best part, Nalwalker says. The highlight of the event was the lesson Nalwalker’s students received in how much it means to perform simple acts of service for others.
“I’m grateful they set an example for my students about random acts of kindness for others,” Nalwalker says. “The way we treat others comes back to us
Nalwalker first discovered Tacos El Cuñado, which is situated in the parking lot at 670 W. Center in Midvale and open every day from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., when he attended a community production at the playhouse across the street. The self-proclaimed “foodie” is a taco-stand aficionado after growing up in San Diego, where he used to sample local taco stands on a regular basis.
Nalwalker tried Tacos El Cuñado’s carne asada, tacos de pollo and carnitas tacos and was so impressed he’s planned lunch visits to the stand every week ever since. Eventually he invited Tacos El Cuñado to participate in Midvalley’s annual culture fair as a food vendor.
“I really love learning about other cultures by trying new food,” Nalwalker told his staff in June. “This is exactly why I think it is important to bring food trucks to our culture fair. … People who wouldn’t normally try something like Tacos El Cuñado get out of their comfort zone and try it.”
At the end of this year’s culture fair, as Nalwalker was thanking everyone who participated, one of Tacos El Cuñado’s owners offered to bring Midvalley’s students and teachers free tacos as a gesture of gratitude. Owner Gabriela Avreola then gathered her family members and worked tirelessly to prepare the food and serve Midvalley’s students on June 1.
“I felt content,” Avreola said through an interpreter after the event was over. “I was happy that all the kids were fed. … I’m happy because they loved the food.”
And Nalwalker was happy that his students and staff enjoyed one of the best street tacos in town, but more importantly, that they received a powerful lesson in what it means to be kind.