2013 NYC Vendys Honors Food Trucks & NYCFTA During Superstorm Sandy.
New York, NY — Sandy touched ground nearly nine months ago – unleashing a wrath that disrupted the world’s largest subway system, cut off power to a city that finally slept, and in the end left thousands of homes and lives across the Eastern seaboard in shambles and despair. Basic necessities like food and water suddenly became foreign to New Yorkers long spoiled with bodegas full of stock within every stone’s throw.
Cries for help were heard, and food trucks began abandoning their normal stops, congregating downtown in the blackout zone and eventually as far as the Rockaways, Staten Island, Redhook, Coney Island, and Hoboken, NJ.
Food trucks are “mobile and self-sufficient” said David Weber, President of the New York City Food Truck Association, and “[they] had the capacity to immediately reach and serve the communities that were hardest hit by Sandy.” “[...] this award is really a tribute to the many sponsors—including the Mayors Fund to Advance NYC, Jetblue, and the thousands of individuals across the country and throughout the world,” Weber continues. Through contributions, corporate sponsorships, and the Mayor’s Office, the New York City Food Truck Association and its trucks handed out 350,000 meals, setting the final tab at nearly $1.9m.
The 9th Annual Vendy awards announced on Tuesday its honorees for Most Heroic Vendor, congratulating over 50 food trucks and the NYCFTA for its outreach efforts post-Sandy. Sean Basinski, President of the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center said “their brave and generous work with the [NYCFTA] providing food and water to victims of Hurricane Sandy is a testament to the contributions and selflessness showcased by street vendors everyday.”
I witnessed firsthand the immense display of selflessness immediately following Sandy, and was amazed at how quickly and efficiently the food trucks were in coordinating such massive outreach efforts. The thousands left stranded without food and water received aid not only in the form of a hot plate, but with the feeling of hope, in turn instilling a much more needed sense of normalcy.
The 2013 Vendy Awards will be held on September 7th in its new location, Industry City in Sunset Park. Food truck honorees that participated in the outreach effort include past Vendy Award finalists and winners, current 2013 Rookie of the Year finalists Nuchas and Toum, and Street Vendor Project members Andy’s Italian Ices, Big D’s Grub and Palenque. Past Vendy winners include: Country Boys Food Truck, The Cinnamon Snail, Korilla, Phil’s Steaks, Schnitzel & Things, Solber Pupusas, Souvlaki GR, The Treats Truck and Wafels N Dinges.
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