Food trucks allowed into Charlotte County neighborhoods

Reporter: Erika Jackson Writer: Jackie Winchester
Credit: WINK News

A food truck could be coming to your neighborhood if you live in Charlotte County.

The goal? To give residents easy access to food while restaurants are closed for dine-in – and to keep vendors working.

Charlotte County law states that all food trucks must serve within commercially-zoned parking lots, but the county made a temporary exception. For now, they’re allowing food trucks in residential neighborhoods while the state of emergency is in place.

Justin Williams, owner of J&K’s Mobile Cafe, said business has been down over the last week.

“We’re going from 50 to 60 people per day … we’re going down to 20, maybe 15,” he said.

That’s why the county changed the rules, allowing vendors like Williams to drive into neighborhoods and serve their food.

“We’re trying to find a spot where we can go and have the community know that we are going to be there,” Williams said.

Keith Diluzio with Lake Effect Lunches already found his prime spot, right on his front lawn.

“We just want to be here, just in case somebody needs us in the neighborhood.”

It’s also an opportunity to get food to underserved neighborhoods.

“Part of the goal is to try to help them, those who are in need, those who are afraid to leave the house,” Diluzio said.

It’s a way to help both struggling businesses and the community they serve.

“We’re just going to try and play it by ear right now. Just trying to stay afloat, staying above,” Williams said.

Food truck owners still need to get permission to serve in an apartment complex or deed-restricted community.

The county’s exception is in place until restaurants can open up their dining rooms again.

And as a reminder, no matter how good the food smells, practice social distancing and try not to congregate near the vendors.

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