About ianzelayamcom

I am Junior at Towson University. I am a Journalism major and a Spanish minor. I am staff writer for The Towerlight, the college newspaper. I have also worked as a lifeguard and swim coach for the past five summers. My future plans are to graduate next spring, and eventually land a job as a television reviewer and re-caper for a major newspaper of magazine.

Students will operate their own food truck

A waffle breakfast sandwich (Photo Credit: Flickr.com/manray30)

I have decided to come full circle and write my last blog post on the same topic as my first: food trucks. However, the difference is that this is about one food truck in particular called Cracked. That’s right, Cracked.

An article in The News-Gazette of East Central Illinois highlighted two University of Illinois seniors who plan to operate their own food truck beginning in August. The food truck will be located on campus and it will serve students breakfast sandwiches from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.

They have decided to name their business Cracked due to the number of eggs they will be cracking starting in the fall. Aside from breakfast sandwiches, the article also says the truck will serve hash browns, pastries, fresh fruit and coffee.

The students also plan to sell their food at farmer’s markets and cater for parties and companies. Both seniors are students of the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

The reason for them opening the food truck? According to them, breakfast sandwiches are meant to be eaten fresh. Selling them on a food truck will be popular with students, and they also plan to sell them to late-night crowds. The food truck is also an opportunity for both students to pursue their careers, before they have even graduated college.

The article quotes one of the seniors, Jeremy Mandell, who says that he knew he did not want work for anyone; now he will be working for everyone.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I would probably go to this food truck for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I had the money. I found this article to be quite interesting considering my first blog post was about bringing food trucks to Towson’s campus. The fact that students are able to open one at U of I shows that students can open one anywhere.

If it were up to me, I would open a food truck that sold waffles. But alas, I am a journalism major and I have no idea how to start a business. If there are any business majors reading this, take this into consideration please. Who doesn’t like waffles?


Got extra meals? Give them to someone in need.

University of Oregon, Eugene. (lizhugstrees/Flickr.com)

At Towson, most meal plans come with dining points that carry on semester to semester. If you are me, then you probably end up spending all these points before the year is over because food is your number one priority in life. However, if you don’t mind skipping a meal or two, you will probably end up with a few leftover points on your card. Most students would probably end up buying useless food they don’t need at the end of the year.

Students at the University of Oregon, Eugene, have the opportunity to donate their unused meal points to people in need. The University Housing program has had a point drive for the past ten years. According to an article in the Oregon Daily Emerald, the point drive goes to a nonprofit organization which collects and gives out food to over 100 social service agencies and programs. According to the article, students donated over 5,000 pounds of food to the organization last semester.

A few other universities like UCLA have started their own meal donation programs as well. I believe that these programs will start showing up at east coast universities soon. Out of all the college campus charity food programs I have read about this year, this one seems to be the most successful and easiest to initiate.

Although there is not a similar program at Towson yet, it is obvious that students can do their part in giving food to the homeless and other groups in need. The program at the University of Oregon as well as other ones like it should inspire students to take it upon themselves to donate their extra meals.

The simplest way to do it would be to buy appropriate food items with the extra points, and give to them food drives, homeless shelters, etc. It would be pretty awesome if Towson was also known for giving away 5,000 pounds of food to people in need.

College students helping themselves.

The Big Blue Cupboard at University of Nebraska-Kearney (Photo Credit: 1011now.com)

Imagine this. You’re in college, working a part-time job along with doing work from the six classes you’re taking. Your parents help pay for your tuition, but you pay for room and board which alone is all you can manage to afford without spending money on other things you need. By the time you get off work, the dining halls are either closed or you didn’t have enough money to buy a meal anyway. There would be no need to worry though, because you could simply go to a location on campus that has free food.

Sounds like a dream right? Students at the University of Nebraska-Kearney have made this dream a reality. An article from Nebraska Central News describes how students and members of the community have developed a program that provides food for students in need. The program is called The Big Blue Cupboard and exists due to donations from the community and students themselves. The Cupboard is located in the student union, and students can access it at any time during operational hours.

The article says the program is not meant to help with constant hunger. Monica Mueller, the UNK Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs describes it as providing those couple of meals that students are unable to eat throughout the week. The reason why some students are unable to eat vary from working late and coming home to closed dining halls, or the fact that they may not get paid at the end of the month and need some extra help.

I find this whole concept very interesting, and I wonder if many students there actually take advantage of it. The idea sounds great, but my problem with it is that I could see every student taking advantage of it, even ones who don’t need any help to get by. However, the fact that the community and the students themselves are willing to help one another is heartwarming. As I always find myself portraying the prime example of a broke college student, I would definitely take advantage of this.

Eat a chewy bar, help a starving child.

Two Degrees Bars (Photo Credit: Bridget Tong/thecollegianur.com)

A recent article in The Collegianur, the student paper at the University of Richmond, discussed how Two Degrees Food has come to its campus, and why it’s gaining popularity. Two Degrees Food is a company that was formed in 2010, and works with universities to sell its products.

The company sells nutritious food bars, but it comes with a catch: for every food bar you buy, they donate one meal to a child in need. So far, the company is working with 70 universities and the idea is extremely popular among students. The food bars cost around two dollars, and the number of students buying them continues to increase. The fact that college kids know they are helping a hungry child gives them incentive to buy the food.

According to the article, Two Degrees is one of the first “buy one, get one” food companies and it is continuing to gain support. Another plus is that the bars are supposedly delicious. The company has sold around 450,000 bars, and has a goal of 200 million.

If Two Degrees Food hopes to achieve that goal, it is going to have to start spreading to even more college campuses. I think the business would be popular at Towson, as well as many other schools. Who wouldn’t want to spend two dollars on a delicious and nutritious chewy bar, knowing that you’re helping a starving child? To know that you helped someone who may have gotten sick or died without that one meal would be unbelievable. Even more unbelievable would be to know you helped that child by simply buying a chewy bar.

The company was inspired by TOMS, the popular trend where the company donates a pair of shoes to a child in need, for every pair sold. Towson already has a TOMS campus program, so the next step forward would be to add a Two Degrees program.

To learn more about Two Degrees Food, check out their website.

We need food trucks!

Random food truck (Photo credit: lasnark.com)

In the three years that I have attended Towson, I have always wondered why I have never seen a permanent food truck on campus. Food trucks are pretty much the busy college student’s dream. Imagine how easy it would be to grab lunch in between classes by simply getting a quick and filling meal without having to walk inside a building.

Many big-city universities have food trucks, and it is a growing trend that has always been popular. The University of Pennsylvania is most known for their food trucks. The campus has numerous food trucks, each with their own type of food. They range from Mexican to Jamaican to Middle-Eastern, and even one with just fruit. The trucks have become so popular; they even have their own website.

So why doesn’t Towson have any food trucks? With a school of over 20,000 students, it would seem convenient to set up at least two food trucks on opposite sides of campus. There could also be one in the center of campus. One of the reasons is that with all of the construction going on, food trucks are the last thing on anyone’s mind. The addition of the West Village Commons and all of the new dining facilities may also be a reason.

Although many may not have food trucks on their mind, as a lover of food I believe it should be a priority. For students who don’t like to waste time for a sit-down lunch, food trucks would be a brilliant idea and it would be a great option for commuters who don’t have meal plans. A normal food truck offers food at reasonable prices, which would be popular with students trying to save money. Another plus would be that the food quality would be better than campus dining options, and would probably be a lot healthier.

More students across America are trying to get food trucks on their campuses as well. A recent letter in the Daily Targum, the Rutger’s University newspaper, explained some more positives about the addition of food trucks.

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