With limited access to power, gas, water, ice, and other basic necessities, New Orleanians have had a rough several days in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac. More and more restaurants are opening as power is restored to more neighborhoods. But several food trucks have been running continuously since the storm. Taceaux Loceaux, Frencheeze, Empanada Intifada, and Foodie Call have been doing their part to serve hot food in areas without power. As early as Thursday, these trucks have been braving the elements and facing extraordinary challenges in order to keep our city well-fed. In a city so focused on cuisine, we would’ve otherwise had way too many days of canned food heated over makeshift camping stoves. Taceaux Loceaux got stranded in a pothole obscured by flooding. Frencheeze was operating without a generator, instead using the light from a headlamp to grill sandwiches. Empanada Intifada has been making do with groceries from a corner store, the only open grocery store nearby. And all the trucks have been facing difficulties finding gas (and, in the case of the solar-electric-powered Empanada Intifada truck, sunshine) to run their trucks and generators. Yet these trucks have overcome these challenges and shown the city that one of the benefits of a thriving urban food truck culture is assistance in providing hot food during times of crisis.
Empanada Intifada reported that they have served between 100 and 200 people each day starting Thursday. Instead of parking in a stationary spot like usual, they have been cruising the Bywater, Mid-City, and the Marigny “ice cream truck-style,” blasting Latin American music and serving the neighborhoods one block at a time when flagged down by hungry customers. They have been offering free cold bottled water to residents with no power to help keep the community well-hydrated. And they, along with other trucks such as Taceaux Loceaux, have been offering reduced prices to ensure affordability for all the hungry neighbors.
With all the negativity brought about by this hurricane, I think it’s a proud moment for NOLA Food Trucks and their service to the community.