Like a group of unruly teenagers, mobile junk food vendors at a Marin high school have been physically fighting each other outside the school to get the best spot where they can easily sell sugar and fatty foods to students.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, school officials at Novato High School thought they were doing good by banning the sale of junk food on campus. But they unwittingly created a Frankenstein monster. Competing vendors now line up outside of the school everyday, bullying and fighting each other so they can be in the best, most visible spot when students are let out of school.
It's gotten so bad that Mayoral says he has had to call police several times to quell the brawls.
"It's getting dangerous," said Rey Mayoral, Novato High School's principal.
The repeated brawls and ongoing conflicts began in 2007 after the Novato Unified School District restricted the sale of fatty foods, including salty
and greasy pizza on campus. And because this is America, the mobile food movement saw this as a real business opportunity; vendors refashioned ice-cream trucks into junk-food snack carts and parked them right in front of schools, waiting for the bell to ring.
Sugar-starved kids with cash in hand mobbed the junk food trucks, which of course, influenced more snack food trucks to pop up around Marin high schools. Soon, the front of Novato High School appeared more petty than a group of freshman girls.
As it turns out, parents were even capitalizing on this new business model. As The Wall Street Journal's Bobby White discovered, one of the snack vendors had three kids attending the school it was serving.
"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a problem," parent and vendor Rana Sanghi told White. "I'm just trying to make a buck here."
And no doubt, that "buck" goes right back into feeding her own kids' sugar habits.
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