Southern California is a mecca for foodies. The region has more food trucks than anyplace else in the country. They serve people on the streets, at festivals and concerts, at catered celebrations, wedding receptions, business meetings and cocktail parties. And now they are feeding crowds at charity auctions and fund-raising events.
Several LA-area food trucks have partnered with local schools to help raise needed funds. The schools permit the trucks to park on their lots at scheduled times, allowing parents and school supporters stop by to pick up food truck cuisine-to-go. The schools receive a cut of the food truck revenues – usually about $50 a day – which quickly adds up with no effort from school personnel or parent-teacher organizations.
Here’s how to your school or non-profit organization can raise funds from food trucks:
Determine how you’ll work with the food trucks. You can charge a flat fee that allows food trucks to park at your school or event. You also can request a percentage of sales or a flat-fee donation from the food truck’s operator.
Discuss your fund-raising efforts with local food truck operators. You probably have several neighborhood food trucks, and one is your favorite. Talk to the truck operators and see if you can recruit several participants that serve different types of foods.
Set the time and day of your event(s). If your fundraiser is a one-time occasion, you may prefer to invite only a specific group, such as everyone in your Parent-Teacher Organization and family members, to attend the event. Or you can advertise the event and invite the general public.
Secure proper city permits. Usually local food trucks acquire all necessary permits for serving consumers in your municipality, but don’t take a chance. Always check.
Recruit volunteers to help. Parents can help direct traffic, ensuring that the trucks are in their assigned parking spots. They also can arrange for trash collection and assist food truck operators and shoppers in various ways.
Advertise the event. Your fundraising won’t be a success if you don’t have a good turnout. Invite your organization’s members and tell them to bring friends and family. Send a press release to local newspapers and radio stations. Notify the presidents of neighborhood associations. Take advantage of appropriate email lists or blogs.
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