CHARLOTTE, N.C. Where will you get food during the Democratic National Convention?
Two more sources were announced Thursday, both involving the Charlotte Area Transit System: a food vendor lineup during the DNC, and a new mobile produce market that will stick around after the visitors leave.
First, CATS said eight food trucks would be allowed to operate Sept. 3-5 at the temporary transit center, which will be moved to Third and Mint streets during the convention. The food trucks will rotate through the day and will be on-site from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Food trucks allowed to operate at the site: Auto Burger and Fry Guys; Herban Legend; Juan Taco; Napolitano’s; Smoke and Go; Sunrise Sandwich Co.; Turkey And; and Wingzza. Those will be in addition to food vendors that will be at the Legacy Village site near the Charlotte Convention Center on South Tryon Street.
Mobile produce market
Meanwhile, CATS and the Charlotte in 2012 host committee also announced plans for “Friendship Gardens TO GO,” a new mobile produce market being launched at the Uptown Transit Center on Thursday. It will move to the temporary location of the Transit Center during the convention but will continue after the convention when the Transit Center returns to its regular spot at 310 E. Trade St.
The plan is for the produce truck to be at the Transit Center every Thursday, with fresh produce for sale. As the program develops, an additional day may be added. The truck is part of an effort to address “food deserts,” or low-income areas that have limited options for buying fresh fruits and vegetables.
The truck is a joint effort of the host committee, Friendship Gardens, CATS and the health care company Humana. Friendship Gardens is a community group that provides food through community gardens and other initiatives.
Dr. Dan Murrey, executive director of the host committee, was at the Transit Center on Thursday for the debut of the mobile market, which will continue operating at least through October. Murrey, a former county commissioner, is a local foods advocate who also is involved in the 7th Street Public Market. Murrey says the mobile market is part of the legacy project, several priorities set by Mayor Anthony Foxx for things that will continue after the convention. The market will support Foxx’s “Healthy Children, Healthy Families” program, aimed at promoting healthful lifestyles and increasing access to healthful foods.
Murrey hopes the mobile market eventually also will move into low-income neighborhoods. But putting fresh food at the Transit Center, where people from all over the city make bus connections, will help to get that food into homes, he said.
“We know it can work,” he said.