On almost every street corner in New York City, you're bound to stumble upon a food cart that sells standard food items such as hot dogs, pretzels or nuts. However, as the food cart industry continues to grow, you might find that street vendors are stepping up their game with more creative and gourmet food choices from all kinds of backgrounds.
No matter the variety of food items you can find from a street vendor, Forbes Magazine reported that there were approximately 5,000 food cart permits just in New York City as of 2014. According to Energy Vision, 61% of New York City food carts use propane, diesel or gasoline and are powered for approximately 10 hours each day. A 2015 Energy Vision report revealed that food cart fumes – such as carbon monoxide and greenhouse gases – will continue to harm the well-being of the public and the surrounding environment. Because of this, New Yorkers, council members and green companies are looking to bring a more eco-friendly food cart solution to New York City and other major cities across the United States.
Specifically, MOVE Systems – an environmentally conscious company located in New York – is working to reduce the food cart industry's carbon footprint through its alternative food cart design while supporting veterans through its Food Cart Pilot Program.
Details about the Food Cart Pilot Program
The MOVE Systems site states the company has an overall vision to "power a cleaner, healthier, safer New York." Not only has MOVE Systems developed a reliable, energy-efficient power source for its food carts, but it has also created cart charging stations around the city to better reduce pollution.
However, before CEO Jim Meeks started MOVE Systems, he served in the United States Army as an armor officer. As a two-tour combat veteran and recipient of both a Purple Heart and Bronze Star, Meeks wants to help fellow veterans find ways to better transition into civilian life. A Wall Street Journal article explains how the Food Cart Pilot Program plans to give the first 100 carts to veterans working in the food cart industry.
According to the company site, MOVE Systems is partnered with Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Additionally, the company interacts with Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Harlem's Veteran Center. The goal of the company's partnerships and Food Cart Pilot Program is to give veterans the opportunity to continue to and/or learn to be a successful business owner.
MOVE Systems' future vision
Looking forward, the company plans to expand its product to other cities that have a prominent food cart presence. In doing so, MOVE Systems has the opportunity to improve the environment's quality and build relationships and networks with veterans across the country.