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SoCal Vendors Slam Effort To Ban Food Trucks Near Schools

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(credit: Darleene Powells/CBS)

(credit: Darleene Powells/CBS)

(CBS) Bob Brill
Award-winning anchor Bob Brill returned to KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO in 2006...
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — School cafeterias may no longer have to compete with gourmet food trucks at Southland schools if one California lawmaker get his way.

KNX 1070’s Bob Brill reports on proposed legislation that would limit where food trucks can sell their meals in what’s being billed as an effort to provide healthier food choices for kids at school.

AB 1678 would prohibit food trucks and any other mobile food vendors to stay at least 1500 feet from any elementary or secondary school between the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The bill’s author, Assemblyman Bill Monning (D-Carmel), said he wants to keep students on school premises to eat lunches that legislators contend will reduce child obesity rates.

Not surprisingly, local food truck vendors are outraged over the proposal — and have even begun circulating an online petition to stop AB 1678.

“California is in the middle of any unprecedented financial crisis,” said the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association in a statement. “However, instead of using our limited legislative resources in an efficient manner, this Bill would put thousands of people out of work without actually addressing the issue of childhood obesity.”

Supporters have been forced to defend why the bill would keep food trucks at least twice the distance from schools as medical marijuana dispensaries.

“We’re neither competing with marijuana vendors or anybody else,” said Nicola Edwards with the California Food Policy Advocates. “We’re really just trying to get the best nutrition to students, and the way we see that is by ensuring that the students have access to the school meals.”

Edwards said it was pushcarts selling treats like pork rinds and sugary sodas — and not food trucks — that were the initial targets of the legislation.

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