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George Washington to expand food truck program

Andrew Hudson   ||   Sep 28, 2018  ||   

Just one semester on from launching a food truck program at its satellite Virginia Science and Technology Campus, George Washington University is expanding the availability of the mobile eateries. George Washington first decided to deploy food trucks at VSTC back in February, and now following positive reviews and usage, the university has extended the service to a second semester.

As reported by the GW Hatchet, the food trucks will now make trips to the VSTC every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with plans currently being formulated to offer more frequent availability than the initial pilot program last semester. The food truck program is designed to provide students with accessible dining options and promote a greater sense of community on the relatively isolated campus.

The food truck vendors have not entered into any official contracts with the university. The four different food truck concepts will rate and make one-day visits to the campus. The food trucks will remain on campus for a few hours at a time, serving students, faculty and staff.

“Given the consistent attendance when food trucks visited and the many enthusiastic comments shared from VSTC students, faculty and staff last spring, GW is continuing to schedule food trucks this fall semester,” said Alicia Knight, the senior associate vice president of operations, in a GW Hatchet interview.

GW Dining will now increase the number of days the food trucks are on campus to two or more days per week depending on customer demand. GW Dining is also considering additional food trucks to be added to the program.

The university promoted the pilot initiative twice a week on social media last spring, as well as posted hard-copy signage in campus buildings and on the VSTC campus shuttle.

Prior to deploying food trucks, students and faculty at VSTC were limited to a Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Taco Bell for on-campus dining, with the only other quick option being a nearby shopping center. The introduction of the food trucks has immediately benefitted those on the satellite campus, with many now regularly opting for the trucks.

“The students are definitely making use of it,” said Ryan Tunkel, the assistant director of admissions for the School of Nursing, in a GW Hatchet interview. “You definitely see them on the days the food trucks are here with that instead of walking around with Chick-fil-A bags or Taco Bell.”

Those on the VSTC campus are also older than the average undergraduate student population, which lessens the viability of a full-service dining hall. The food trucks, meanwhile, are capable of providing a limited, but varied, lunch menu without the cost of a dining hall facility.

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