Food Trucks: Healthy or Junk Food for Latinos?

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Benjamin Cruz gets a kiss from his son, Jonathan, 4, in Cruz's produce truck. Cruz is one of the few with a roving truck selling produce, snacks and other items to his Latino neighborhood in Pasadena, Calif. (via L.A. Times)
Benjamin Cruz gets a kiss from his son, Jonathan, 4, in Cruz’s produce truck. Cruz is one of the few with a roving truck selling produce, snacks and other items to his Latino neighborhood in Pasadena, Calif. (via L.A. Times)

Food trucks can bring fresh produce to the doorstep of Latino homes.

Or junk food and bacon-wrapped hotdogs.

For example, more than 600 food trucks bring both fruits/veggies and/or sugary snacks (along with other household items) to Latino neighborhoods in Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif., creating “threads of community life and ethnic commerce that bind immigrants to the customs of their homelands,” the L.A. Times reports.

Increasingly, cities and programs are using food trucks to provide a source of fresh produce and healthy food in food deserts, which lack access to such options and are more prevalent in Latino and black communities than elsewhere.

These efforts are cropping up across the nation.

Local food advocates turned old buses into mobile farmers’ markets and fresh produce delivery vehicles in Washington, D.C., Lima, Ohio, and Rowan County, N.C.

A truck-pulled trailer brings milk, eggs, and fruits/veggies weekly into an area of Tulsa, Okla., with a growing Latino population. The trailer boasts that it sells no chips, candy or soda.

In Sarasota County, Fla., a food bank bought a food truck to bring fruits/veggies to the needy.

A mobile test kitchen plans cooking demos and healthy meals in the East End of Richmond, Va., which is home to several government-run housing projects.

Some initiatives even bus people to the grocery store and out of food deserts in Baltimore and Rock Island, Ill.

Learn more how you can create healthier food in your neighborhoods at the Salud America! Growing Healthy Change website.

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