Thursday, March 8, 2012

The San Francisco (California) Food Truck Ban

San Francisco...

Known as the "City by the Bay", this city is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world.  From the famous Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz to the very eclectic architecture resting on their steep rolling hills, San Francisco is one of many cities visited world-wide, ranking 35th of 100 overall.  Within the city limits, San Francisco is the center of University of California system, the start-up of many well-known companies, biggest fininacial district in the West, and multi-cultural neighborhoods... and all inside of 232 square miles.

Now, why do I mention this magnificant city?

San Francisco is a melting pot for cultural diversity and food trucks are means that, by the words of San Francisco Supervisor Scott Weiner, "is a route to entrepreneurship for many people, especially immigrants, and they help to activate our streets and public spaces."  But, there is trouble afoot in food truck paradise...

On February 28th, Bill Monning, an Assemblyman from Carmel, introduced a bill that would prohibit food trucks from selling within 1500 feet of a school, whether an elementary, middle, or high school, between the hours of 6am and 6pm.  Though other cities in California have mandates in place already, San Francisco would be extremely difficult to push because schools fall in three blocks within the city.

The following map shows the areas that would be affected if AB 1678 were to be passed.

Just by looking at this map, the bill doesn't give food trucks much headroom, with 6 districts fully prohibiting trucks to operate functionally.  This bill won't be affecting just San Francisco.  It would ban food trucks from many cities in California.

So, why push for a harsh and drastic bill against food truck businesses and entreprenuers?

The bill was put together to help school districts in their efforts to put into place programs that would initiate healthy lunch options.  To me, promoting healthy lunch options is perfectly alright and kids should be able to given the education and the choices when it comes to eating healthy.  But, educators are fearing that their efforts are being overshadowed with appearances of food trucks off campus, pushing junk food to students.

According to Tia Shimada of the California Food Policy Advocates, she claims that the state has "worked really hard to promote healthy food in and restrict access to unhealthy options" and that food trucks are just "driving right up to the curb and reintroducing this food back into school."  Are they really serious that they think food trucks are pushing unhealthy options to kids?  Who are they to come up with such an immature speculation?

Now, I don't want to get to in-depth with this issue because this blog is all about enjoying life and the Americana that food trucks offer.  All I want to say is that if the government wants to pass legislation in order to teach and educate kids on the importance of having healthy choices, by all means, initiate a health class and do it that way.  Don't try to pass a boycott to ban food trucks that, I believe, have more delicious food choices than a school cafeteria menu.  They use leftovers, for crying out loud!

So, in conclusion, Food Trucks of America unite!

Keep on truckin', America, and fight to keep our food trucks on the road!

The Food Truck Junkie

No comments:

Post a Comment