On Thursday four food trucks from local businesses settled in Cornell Mall for GPSA’s Food for Thought fundraiser. The event was sponsored by GPSA and UNM Food.
Chloë Winegar-Garrett, the programs chair for GPSA, organized the event and said it was the first time the student government organization has done anything like this.
“It was hard to expect anything, but our goal was 100 people and I think we’ve already surpassed that,” Winegar-Garrett said.
The event is the primary fundraiser for GPSA’s newly established Graduate Summer Scholarship, which will send 100 grads to summer school in 2015 in order to complete their studies early or on time. Ten percent of all profits from the Food for Thought event are going to the scholarship.
Food for Thought will be an ongoing event. GPSA’s plan is to bring in different food trucks once a month while rotating businesses, said Texanna Martin, president of GPSA. The next food truck event is planned for Nov. 26.
“Depending on how this goes, we can plan future events accordingly,” Martin said.
Martin said that the monetary goal of the scholarship, as well as how recipients of the scholarship will be chosen, is still being determined by GPSA and the Office of the Provost.
Dean of Students Tomás Aguirre sampled some of the foods and said he saw the event as beneficial for everyone involved.
“They did a good job getting a bit of everything,” Aguirre said. “It’s nice that the students have more options, and also that their money is going right back to UNM.”
The four trucks on campus Wednesday were Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ, S’wich It Up, Irratonial Pie and Soo Bak Korean Seoul Food. A variety of cuisine was being offered, from Kalua pork plates to an array of wood-fired pizza options.
By noon business was in full swing, with lines of customers forming in front of every food truck on the warm October day.
Martin Ly, a senior guitar performance major, ordered a margherita pizza from the Irrational Pie truck. He said he was excited about the food trucks being on campus.
“I think it’s the greatest thing ever. I ran over here to get some as soon as I heard about it,” Ly said. “I know that food trucks are small businesses and I like supporting that.”
The food trucks reminded Tyler Beltram, a junior photography major, a little bit of home, he said.
“I’m from El Paso and there you see them all over the place, so it’s cool to see them here too,” Beltram said. “I think they should do it every two weeks.”
Josh Rood-Ojalvo, owner of Irrational Pie, said it’s sometimes hard to get to college students, at least those under 21.
“The food truck scene in Albuquerque is buoyed mainly by the brewery scene, so you’re already missing out on a good part of the city’s youth,” Rood-Ojalvo said.
Anthony Salvagno, co-owner of S’wich It Up, agreed with that sentiment.
“It’s usually hit-or-miss with events in Albuquerque, but this is a really great turnout,” Salvagno said. “What food trucks offer is very unique.”
David Lynch is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at news
@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @RealDavidLynch.