You might look to your favorite food truck for a cupcake on the run or a gourmet lunch in your parking lot, but a fledgling food truck in New York City called Drive Change is also a social enterprise that employs, trains and empowers young people (ages 16-25) who have recently come out of jail or prison. And they need your help to get going.
New York state is soon to be the only state that automatically arrests 16-year olds as adults. But Drive Change believes that the adult jail system is no place for youth. Young people coming out of adult jail or prison are 75 percent more likely to wind up re-arrested and/or re-incarcerated than adults, especially because opportunities for these young people are greatly limited.
Drive Change founder, Jordyn Lexton, taught adolescent incarcerated youth on Rikers Island for three years, and wanted to generate channels to success for these young people by using her favorite business model in NYC: food trucks.
Drive Change has secured $75,000 in private funding to build their truck, but they’re seeking an additional $40,000 through an Indigogo campaign to get up and running.
The Drive Change program will combine models that have been proven successful to build a program specifically for youth, including paid, transitional, quality employment; concrete, transferable, industry-specific skills and credentials, community building and outreach; and group and individual counseling with licensed social workers—all combined with the super hip food truck model. They also have the support of established organizations across NY, including the Center for Employment Opportunities.
The truck’s menu will include savory and sweet items, featuring locally produced New York State maple syrup, along with other responsibly sourced, local ingredients.
People who make donations will receive bonus rewards ranging from free maple candy and bumper stickers to a fully catered party for you and 200 of your closest friends.
Photo courtesy Drive Change