ASK Facts 1: Food Truck Fiasco

March 31, 2022

ASK Facts, Briefs, Culture, News

The food truck, a beloved part of The ASK Academy, was not always present. The truck has been a staple at ASK since 2012. Over the years, it has served many ASK staff members and scholars, but that was not always the case. Various food trucks have come and gone due to lack of interest, and proximity difficulties. What is this “food fiasco”, and where will it go from here?

In 2012, the first food truck arrived at the ASK Academy. It was short-lived due to little interest and poor food quality. On September 23, 2014, Catherine Crum, a former ASK Scholar, posted an article on the ASK Catalyst titled: “Hot-Food Cravings Answered with Pizza and Food Truck”. She interviewed Mr. Barbour, the former CEO of ASK, about the food truck difficulties. Mr. Barbour stated, “We had a catering company two years ago that was part of the Federal Food Program. We didn’t have enough kids that would start eating the food, and the food wasn’t very good.”

At the beginning of the school year, in 2013, another food truck company, AKayTahRing attempted to service scholars and project managers. The company did not succeed for a number of reasons. According to another Catalyst Article, “Hot-Lunch Program Fizzles Again”, by Kirsten Morales, “Stephenson said the catering company required a certain amount of scholars to participate in the program to cover the operating costs, and when the money wasn’t coming in from scholars, the school was expected to pay those fees.” 

Another disadvantage of the 2013 food truck was the fact that ASK was too distant to continue servicing.  Due to AKayTahRing being based in the South Valley and The ASK Academy’s Rio Rancho location, they decided to discontinue the food truck service for the school. 

The third and fourth contenders were Maniac Munchees and Aldos. Aldos continues to sell pizza slices at ASK since they began in August 2014. Maniac Munchees is no longer here. It is unknown why they left. 

After Maniac Munchees failed, the food truck we all know arrived; Hot Stuff Cafe.  They are a family-owned business, that started out by selling burritos to Intel employees. Mikayla, cashier and family member of the family-run business, said Hot Stuff Cafe serviced ASK at the old building from 2015 and 2016.

What does Hot Stuff Cafe do when school is out for the summer? ASK is not their only source of income. To earn revenue over the summer, Mikayla stated in the summer months, the food truck sells cold treats. Such as popsicles, lemonade, and Italian ice.

The food truck has also been influenced by current events. Many long-term scholars have noticed prices have gone up. According to Mikayla, the company is trying to keep food affordable despite the cost of ingredients, gas, and inflation on the rise. Prices will continue to rise due to inflation, but the food truck will likely stay.

 To support them during the summer, find them on Facebook at @HotStuffCafeNM.. They go to local events and areas like the golf course. Usually, Hot Stuff hosts events, such as dances, at the school. COVID; however, has prevented this from happening. Your purchases will help them greatly, and can possibly help make a brighter future at ASK. 

By Chandler Crandall, a high school scholar at The ASK Academy.

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