Politics

Law would keep food trucks away from schools

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In an effort to fight obesity, California public schools have spent the past few years banning junk food on campus and bringing in healthier choices for kids as mandated by national standards. But school administrators say a new food trend is undermining their efforts: mobile food trucks.

Some districts are appalled the food trucks pull right up next to a school and sell food students typically can't get on campus.

"We serve fruits and vegetables every single day; we're mandated to," Rene Yamashiro, spokesperson for the California School Nutrition Association, said. "We have limits on how much fat our meals can have, how much sodium, how much sugar. When there's a food truck right outside the school, they do not have to follow any of these national standards."

Assm. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, just introduced a bill that would ban food trucks from parking within 1,500 feet of a school between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Some cities already have a similar ban in place.

The proposed law has food vendors upset because they don't all sell bad food. They also think it's unfair considering many schools are right by fast food restaurants or convenience stores where junk food is widely available.

"You have a McDonald's right next to the high school I went to, a donut shop," Andrew Blaskovich, of the Drewski's Hot Rod Kitchen food truck, said. "What's healthier? A Drewski's sandwich we made from scratch. Anything we do is made that day. Nothing is processed or frozen."

School administrators also worry about student safety with trucks vying for business in areas with heavy traffic.

Teenagers we spoke with don't agree with the food truck ban.

"Going to the extent of banning food trucks would be extensive; if you want junk food, you can be able to get it," Kamron Sarhadi, a senior at Mountain View High School, said.

"Most kids have cars; if not, your friend has a car, you can just go and get junk food if you want to," Erica Fischer-Colbrie, another senior at Mountain View High School, said.

Many food vendors say they help schools with fundraisers and wonder what this legislation would mean for those efforts.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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food, laws, children, diets, politics, nannette miranda
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