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Food truck ban near California schools won't happen, yet

Backlash prompts assemblyman to drop his proposal aimed at combating child obesity. But he might revisit the idea next year.

March 29, 2012|By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
  • A food truck vendor serves a customer at Whitney High in Cerritos, which was hosting a food truck fundraising event for the school, in 2011.
A food truck vendor serves a customer at Whitney High in Cerritos, which… (Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles…)

SACRAMENTO — Faced with backlash from food lovers and cooks, Assemblyman William Monning (D-Carmel) said Wednesday he is dropping a proposal to ban food trucks from school areas.

Monning, chairman of the Assembly Health Committee, said his measure lacked enough votes to win approval this year.

"Our calculus was: It was still not ready for prime time," Monning said, adding that he would look for other ways to address his concerns about obesity among schoolchildren.

His measure, AB 1678, continued to draw strong opposition from the food-vending industry even after he agreed recently to change it to reduce the distance that food trucks would have to maintain from schools. He agreed to require them to stay 500 feet away rather than 1,500 feet.

Monning said he would not rule out proposing another bill restricting food trucks next year and is looking at other ways of improving student health.

"I am concerned that in communities across our state, mobile food vendors congregate just outside of elementary, middle and high schools to direct sales at students before, during and after the school day," Monning said in a statement. "I have seen this business practice firsthand and will continue to prioritize children's health over profit."

patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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