And here, you, you thought that food trucks were just for the festival set. But leave it to restaurateur Rob McKinley and Mike D of the Beastie Boys to find a more noble purpose for mobile meals. Although Hurricane Sandy is a memory for many, for residents of many parts of the New York area, including the Rockaways, the storm’s impact is still affecting daily lives. So Mike D and McKinley, with the help of teams from popular local restaurants like the Breslin and Fat Radish, created the Rockaway Plate Lunch food truck to bring residents warm meals.
As Mike D explains in the interview below, the post-Sandy landscape in Rockaway has been changing every day, so a food truck was the best way to access lots of people. He and McKinley have served more than 19,000 meals to the people of the Rockaways, primarily of chicken, vegetables, beans and rice.
Mike D told the folks at GOODthat Rockaway Plate Lunch is continuing to work in the area, but on fewer hours, but want to use it now as a means of sparking the local economy. As he explains:
“There’s still the need for warm food out there, but our real goal for this summer is to help revitalize the local economy. So we’re trying to switch the truck over from giving away food, to charging for food but having it become staffed, run and operated on every level by citizens of the Rockaways. We’ll keep the same restaurants that have been involved, but in a mentoring capacity.”
He says they’ve been working with involving young people, local clergy and elected officials to find resources to see how the truck can best benefit the people of the Rockaways. You can hear from the duo about their efforts to continue helping after Sandy in the video below.