Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Food trucks can have a hard time operating in rural areas

Gino Cortes mixes chicken broth in his food truck.
(Sunbury Daily Item photo by Emma Ginader)
Food trucks have been a popular everyday sight in urban areas for years, but they're seldom seen in rural areas, except at festivals. That's partly because food trucks do well where there's a lot of foot traffic, but another problem is getting the proper licensing and permits. "For example, a food truck would need a license from the state Department of Agriculture to operate in a town without its own health department, but the truck might need another license issued by a local health officer if they decided to operate in a community with its own health department as well," Emma Ginader reports for The Daily Item in Sunbury, Pa.

Some food truck operators are venturing into rural areas, especially to cater to their growing Hispanic populations. That's the case with El Encanto, a food truck that specializes in Latinx regional cuisines in nearby Penn Township. Maria Lorenzo, who owns and operates the truck with her husband Gino Cortes, told Ginader, "A lot of people have to travel hours away to find Hispanic cuisine. It will be nice to have something closer to home for them." She said two other reasons for the lack of rural food trucks might be that it's hard for rural food trucks to find a permanent location and that some communities are not very welcoming.

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