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DOE truck rolls into Flushing Meadows Park with free food

City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott (c.) distributes pasteurized milk from one of the city Department of Education's food trucks. Photo courtesy DOE
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Those who frequent certain western Queens neighborhoods where a fedora is the preferred fashion know that food trucks are all the rage with the youth crowd these days, and the city Department of Education is taking notice, too.

Donning his own haute hipster headwear, a dapper Dennis Walcott dished out free meals last week in the Bronx, where he announced the department had added a second food truck to its Queens fleet, which will distribute free breakfasts and lunches to youngsters at Queens Farm and Flushing Meadows Corona parks this summer.

“We want all families with children, no matter their residency, to have one of our nutritious meals free of charge,” Walcott, the city schools chancellor said. “In an effort to make the summer meals even more accessible and convenient, we will be operating three refrigerated food trucks that will serve meals to youngsters.”

The department’s third truck will offer free meals at Orchard Beach in the Bronx through the DOE’s annual summer meals program, which is available to youth 18 and under through Aug. 31.

The newest truck will begin serving meals at Queens Farm Park, on Little Neck Pkwy. between 73 Road and 74 Avenue in Floral Park, July 23.

Last year, the department said, more than 7 million meals were served throughout the summer, including 67,000 meals served by the trendy trucks.

And because every successful foodie knows that having a hip marketing campaign is key, the city partnered with Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit that focuses on eliminating childhood hunger, which provided a text messaging service so parents can text “nycmeals” to 877877 to find schools, parks, pools, soup kitchens and city Housing Authority locations across the borough where meals are available.

“The summer meals program is a great way to make sure that kids who get free lunch during the school year can also get the nutrition they need when school is out,” said Bill Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the NYC Department of Education to ensure that every child in New York who needs something to eat can get something to eat.”

Locations can also be found online at nyc.gov/nycfood.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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