Bill Would Ban Food Trucks Near Schools

The legislation wants to keep food trucks from competing with school lunch programs

By R. Stickney
|  Saturday, Feb 18, 2012  |  Updated 10:38 AM PDT
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Food Trucks Gather for Meals on Wheels


The idea behind the law is to restrict access for students while school is in session.

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Food Trucks Subject to Inspection

Unlike restaurants, mobile food trucks do not get letter grades, to post in their window
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A new piece of legislation, aimed at helping keep school children from unhealthy foods could be viewed as a threat to the popular food truck industry in California.

The proposed legislation AB 1678, introduced into the California State Legislature Tuesday, would restrict “mobile foot and beverage vending” near schools when they’re in session.

To be exact – food trucks could not sell within 1,500 feet of schools from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bill authors argue that mobile food vending “diminishes participation in the school nutrition programs” and “increases students’ access to foods and beverages that are calorie rich, nutrient poor and contribute to negative health outcomes like being overweight and obesity.”

Not true argues Dyann Manning, Executive Chef for Devilicious, just one of the many food trucks that operate around San Diego County.

“If we were to ban food trucks from a 1500 foot radius of elementary or secondary school then should we not also shut down all fast food restaurants and convenience stores within those same parameters?” Manning said adding that most food trucks offer handmade, preservative-free street food.

Word is spreading through the industry and among food truck fans. Some are threatening to begin a petition blocking the legislation.

The bill is headed next to committee which is expected to happen within the next few weeks.

Both houses of the legislature must pass the proposal and it’s got to get the signature of the governor before effects are felt.

Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.

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