Published on May 30th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
‘Hip’ Food Trucks Used to Reach Out to Food Insecure Kids During the Summer
Food trucks are a big and enduring food trend, and now city kids who are entitled to free lunch are getting some of the hip rolling restaurants of their own.
Many kids who are eligible for free lunches are able to access the program year-round, but not all can or will make it in to school just for a hot meal. A parent’s work schedule or distance from the school without bussing can inhibit kids’ access to lunch programs, and New Haven, Connecticut has devised the novel way to both reduce the stigma of going to school in the summer for lunch as well as some of the figurative roadblocks.
Last summer, Tim Cipriano, executive director of school food services for New Haven, Connecticut says the city served 17,000 lunches to low-income kids via a pilot version of the program, and this summer, the city plans to dish out 20,000 food truck lunches to the same kids. And it’s not mystery meat sandwiches, either- kimchee tacos and Mexican eggrolls are among the fare available, although it’s starting out with just basic packed lunches like sandwiches and fruit.
“‘To get the kids from the neighborhood to come out has always been a challenge,’ Tim Cipriano, executive director of school food services for New Haven, Connecticut, tells The Salt. He says there’s often a stigma attached to both the free meal and the fact that kids have to go to the school during summer vacation to get it.”
Not only is the USDA program catching on, but there’s no eligibility requirement to snag a meal from the food trucks- anyone under the age of 18 can line up.