Taco Truck Permitted for Now

Despite pressure from the district, Julie Nguyen’s catering van, known to students as the Taco Truck, is not leaving its lunch crowd of student customers.

“I come every day,” Nguyen said. “And I stay for 15 to 20 minutes.”

Students still come in droves to buy beef tacos and cheese and bacon sandwiches from Nguyen, even though the district has branded it as an unhealthy alternative.

Because Nguyen has a permit from the city of Los Altos and parks in a public spot to sell her food, Nguyen is technically not breaking any laws. Despite this, the district maintains the right to regulate the area surrounding a school in terms of safety.

According to Superintendent Barry Groves, the district is supporting a proposed ordinance that would place prohibitions on “mobile peddlers” near the public schools in Los Altos in order to “maintain a safe, clean campus that serves only nutritional food.”

“Schools, and the area around them, are special places,” Groves said. “We have special rules, laws and regulations that attend to this special status.”

There has yet to be a decisive conclusion for the Taco Truck. Because the truck is parked on the streets and serves on the sidewalks, according to Groves, the decision is to either allow the truck to sell to students or leave rests with the city.

According to Doug Schmitz from City Hall, the mayor is working with the chair of the district to schedule a joint meeting and discuss the issue. However, no date has yet been set.

Many students welcome the chance to keep buying from the truck.

“[Before the Taco Truck] I had to buy pizza from the school cafeteria,” sophomore Micky Young said. “This is way better.”