Food trucks changing business model during pandemic

As businesses struggle throughout the pandemic, some food truck owners adjusted their business plan to make more business for themselves.

AUSTIN, Texas — Throughout the pandemic, small businesses bore the brunt of losing customers. As a silver lining to the past 20 months, food trucks found a way to stay afloat – and even grow.

“I’ve worked from Leander all the way to San Marcos,” Orlandus Stafford, co-owner of O’s Chop House and Jerk Daddy’s, said. “I’ve also done catering. I’ve done two weddings, one of 300… We’ve done birthdays. We’ve done quinceañeras, we’ve done a lot of things outside of our pop-up environment. But other than that, the HOA’s and the apartments have been very, very good to us.”

Stafford opened his first food service business, O’s Chop House, in August 2020. He made it a family affair: partnering with his brother for the business, welcoming his kids inside

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Food pantries rise to the pandemic challenges

Between cooking meals and making deliveries to combat increasing needs, food banks have had their hands full during the pandemic. But as Massachusetts residents and businesses adjust to accommodate growing vaccination rates and expiring government benefits, so have food pantry services.

Food insecurity reached new highs over the last year, but experts worry the full effects of the issue will come to light even as vaccination rates rise. Western Massachusetts saw an approximately 47% increase in hunger over the pandemic with the greatest impact on children, according to Feeding America. A growing number of visits to food pantries and use of government services, including SNAP benefits, reflected the increase in Berkshire County.

“During COVID, we saw a lot more people who had never used our services and had never needed support, ever,” said Lillian Baulding, communications and engagement officer at Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

While food pantries welcomed growing

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Alabama schools battling food shortages amid pandemic

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Cayce Davis inspects lunch entrees at Redland Elementary School in Wetumpka, Ala., on Sept. 8, 2021. Davis leads the child nutrition staff for Elmore County Schools and has coordinated the district’s efforts to stay ahead of food and labor shortages. (Savannah Tryens-Fernandes/The Alabama Education Lab/AL.com via AP)

AP

Cayce Davis spends hours of her day on the phone.

As child nutrition director for Elmore County schools, she has to call their three food distributors to figure out which food products they actually have and what they can substitute. She has to see if her district’s impromptu food stockpile in a warehouse can meet needs. Then she has to figure out if orders will arrive in time for her short-handed staff to prep and cook 14,000 meals.

Last night, she woke up to a 3 a.m. text from a staff member calling in sick and had to make sure

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Supply issues disrupt food carts during pandemic

Aug. 25—Restrictions on capacity. Labor shortages. Overwhelming demand.

As if problems from the coronavirus pandemic were not big enough headaches for food carts across Astoria, supply chain disruptions have made it difficult to get ingredients.

On Tots, a food cart outside of Reach Break Brewing, has struggled to acquire their most essential item: tater tots.

“It gives you anxiety at the end of the day when you look in the freezer and you are like, ‘I do not have tots for tomorrow,'” said Jordan Gagnon, the co-owner of On Tots.

Like many places, On Tots gets food and supplies, including tater tots, from the U.S. Foods Chef’store in Warrenton. United Natural Foods Inc., the store’s supplier and one of the largest wholesale food distributors in the country, had a coronavirus outbreak at a facility in Centralia, Washington, at the end of July. It shut down for a week, which substantially

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