Photo: Courtesy of Drive Change.
We'll take any excuse we can get to hit up a food truck (or three) for lunch. And, luckily, a local social enterprise is giving us a really good reason to skip the brown bag routine. Drive Change, an organization dedicated to hiring and training formerly incarcerated youths, has launched its first food truck for social justice. Snowday, the first in Drive Change's forthcoming fleet, offers an amazing menu of maple-syrup-inspired items, perfect for winter. Plus, the truck is operated by Drive Change's team and teens who need a second chance.
As Drive Change notes, New York is one of just two states that automatically arrests and prosecutes 16 year olds as adults. This means when they leave the system, they may have open felony records rather than juvenile adjudications, making it difficult for them to pave a future career path. Drive Change believes "young people with criminal histories can live crime-free, bright futures full of opportunity," and its food truck program provides real work experience these youths can use to begin doing just that.
So, who's eligible? Any formerly incarcerated 16 to 25 year old. As part of Drive Change's eight-month program, participants will have training, employment, and transition periods, as well as individual and group counseling — all while earning $10 per hour. They'll be prepping eats for you such as Pancake Poppers and Maple Bacon Donuts (yes, please).
New York is so full of glamour and excitement that it's sometimes easy to forget the challenges of growing up in an urban environment. A program like Drive Change offers an opportunity for troubled youths to make a real change in their lives and perpetuates the creative industry New York has made its own. To donate, head to Drive Change's website. If you need us, we'll be elbows deep in a Maple Grilled Cheese.