For many, Tasty Tuesday is the pinnacle of the week for obvious reasons: it’s not Monday anymore and there is tasty food. With that in mind, Food Truck Friday may be added as a new food-related day soon. There is plenty of potential for Food Truck Friday. Firstly, food-themed days mean that students have a drive-free alternative food source other than the Deece or Retreat. Secondly, Tasty Tuesday and Munchy Monday have been successes, so why not add on?
On May 1, the VSA will organize an event where various Food Truck vendors will visit campus and sell their goods to students. Stephanie Zhu, the Junior Class President, said, “The VSA has never tried Food Truck Friday in the past; this is its first time venturing out.” Fall Fest in October was a semi-trial, but, Zhu added, “Fall Fest struggled a little to bring in all the vendors they wanted, because two of them cancelled last minute, so I hope that this will not be the case for Food Truck Friday!”
A pre-existing food day, Munchy Monday, emerged as a result of the Vassar Haiti Project (VHP) idea to raise money to fund their annual March trip to Haiti. Sarah Oliver ’15, who runs Munchy Monday for VHP said, “Vassar Haiti Project partners with a village called Chermaitre in rural Northwest Haiti and we do our best to travel to the village at least once a year to maintain a personal relationship with the people.” Because VHP is a smaller non-profit, fundraising is very critical, and Munchy Monday is a really useful way to do it. In this sense, Munchy Monday has a charitable aspect to it.
Oliver went on to say, “My freshman year, the trippers were looking for a new and creative way to make money, but also have lots of fun in the process. We saw how successful Tasty Tuesday was and knew how much students complained about the Deece, so we thought creating a ‘Munchy Monday,’ where we could sell homemade dishes would be a great addition to Vassar food life.”
Unlike Tasty Tuesday, where vendors in the area come to campus, food at Munchy Monday is made by the students selling it. Oliver added, “Many of us enjoyed cooking and looked forward to sharing recipes from home with Vassar students. Our first Munchy Monday was so successful that it’s been a tradition ever since.” Although Munchy Monday doesn’t take place as regularly as Tasty Tuesday, Oliver continued, “Planning for Munchy Monday can be really exhausting, so while we’d like to have them every week, sometimes our schedules are just too busy!”
The VHP members fundraising for their trip put in a lot of effort to make the event happen. Each time they hold the event, Oliver said, they make sure to plan out everything carefully. “We start by thinking up a menu, which entirely depends on what the trippers are comfortable cooking, then organize a shopping trip, purchase sternos and trays to heat the food, book tables and Vcash machines, create a Facebook event and put up posters, cook all the food, transport the food to the College Center, then table all morning.”
As a more regular treat, Tasty Tuesday began in the 2008-2009 school year and has drawn many vendors from the Poughkeepsie area over the years. VP Ramy Abbady ’16 said, “We have some vendors that come every year, and they take up most of the spots. These include Twisted Soul, Kismat, Reggae Boy and Ku-Yah.” Every week’s vendor combination is different. Possible vendors include Julie’s, Savan’s Hot Dogs, Zorona’s, Grasshoper, Aroma Spice, and others.The north atrium of the College Center offers limited spaces, but to fill the other spots, Abbady added, “It is a combination of the VSA reaching out to vendors and them reaching out to us. I reached out to approximately six new vendors this year, which were a combination of those that had asked to join in the past and those that students have expressed interest. Only two of them ended up joining, Gino’s and Love Feast.”
During the colder months, the Arlington Farmer’s Market occupies the same space as the Tasty Tuesday vendors all day on Thursday. With the addition of Muncy Monday, the College Center the place to be when hunger calls. The availability of different types of homestyle and cultural foods is only offset by the waiting times. Lines for the Farmer’s Market vendors are usually much shorter than those on Tuesday, meaning that students can more easily pick up lunch or a snack quickly while passing through the College Center on the way to their next class.
For Food Truck Friday to be successful, it must diverge from Tasty Tuesday and Munchy Monday to provide something the other two don’t. With the idea of serving food from food trucks, a unique particularity is found. Since Food Truck Friday is a new event, the VSA does not yet have vendors reaching out to them asking to come. Therefore, Zhu said, “I looked on a local Hudson Valley food truck page, as well as did some Google searching. I have to seek the vendors out, because Food Truck Friday has not yet been advertised on any form of social media.”
During the event on May 1, Zhu said, “I think you can expect a good blend of foods, with an American food truck, a foreign cuisine, as well as some dessert truck.” Food trucks are becoming a trend all over the country, one that will hopefully catch on at Vassar. Zhu concluded, “I believe it will be a success, and if it proves to be, then depending on the next Vice President for Operations, we can see it again in the fall!”