Bill would put the squeeze on food trucks

Do you go off the grid for lunch? If so, your favorite food truck may soon be squeezed off the map.

State Assemblyman Bill Monning (D-Carmel) wants to make it illegal for mobile vendors to sell food or beverages within 1,500 feet of any elementary or secondary school campus in California between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

This map of San Francisco highlighting all areas within 1,000 feet of such schools gives some idea of how little room is going to be left for these mobile local small business owners to operate if AB 1678 is passed.

Mobile food trucks in the Bay Area are currently enjoying a renaissance of sorts aided by the popularity of Off The Grid, which organizes a rotation of up to 60 food vendors through 12 weekly markets all over the Bay Area. A rise in media attention directed at these trucks is perhaps behind the additional scrutiny from Monning.

AB 1678 singles out mobile food trucks for contributing to childhood obesity, without holding fast food restaurants or even parents criminally accountable for their children’s weight problems as other states have done.

On the California State Assembly Democratic Caucus website, Monning’s assembly member page claims mobile food vendors are “a threat to student safety as well as student nutrition.”