COVID-19 Updates

The most recent update from MFTA President John Levy can be viewed on the home page.

Previous Updates:

TUESDAY MAY 26, 2020 UPDATE

FROM JOHN LEVY

Greetings Members, Sponsors, Employees, Friends and Customers.  Governor Waltz permitted Minnesota’s Stay at Home Order to expire yesterday, May 18th, as anticipated and has replaced it with an order entitled “Stay Safe MN.”  That order allows for social gatherings of less than 10 people and the reopening of stores, malls and other non-essential small businesses if those businesses can follow social distancing guidelines.  (For the full Stay Safe MN Executive Order, go here. For an FAQ on Stay Safe MN, go here.)  Gov. Walz said he expects to have a similar set of guidelines in place for bars, restaurants, salons and barbershops to allow those businesses to reopen June 1st. That plan is scheduled to be presented to the public tomorrow, May 20th.

As many of our operators know, food trucks have been deemed to be “essential services” throughout the pandemic, and, as noted in the last update, the Governor directly addressed a need which can be met by food trucks by specifically permitting food trucks to operate at up to six highway rest stops in Minnesota.

The month of May is when the Minnesota food truck season really gets underway with the first festivals and events occurring.  Even though the pandemic is requiring group gatherings- including food truck festivals- to be canceled, the Association believes that the current environment provides some unique opportunities for our industry.  Some members are working with the big box stores, and some with hospitals and other front line service environments.  A little resourcefulness can go a long way.

More updates to follow soon after the Governor’s announcement tomorrow.

 

FRIDAY MAY 8, 2020 UPDATE

FROM JOHN LEVY

Greetings Members, Sponsors, Employees, Friends and Customers. This update is being posted after Governor Walz extended Minnesota’s Stay at Home Order until Monday, May 18th, however lifted the restriction on retail businesses and other non-critical businesses to enable them to resume operations with curbside pick-up. No change has been announced for restaurants which remain limited to take out and delivery services. This past Tuesday, the Governor directly addressed a need which can be met by food trucks by specifically permitting food trucks to operate at up to six highway rest stops in Minnesota.

The month of May is when the Minnesota food truck season really gets underway with the first festivals and events occurring. Even though the pandemic is requiring group gatherings – including food truck festivals – to be canceled, the Association believes that the current environment provides some unique opportunities for our industry. Some members are working with the big box stores, and some with hospitals and other front line service environments. A little resourcefulness can go a long way. For instance, consider contacting neighborhood groups and associations and use social media to advertise a specific day that you’ll be serving there. Here’s a good example –

© FoodtruckOperator.com, April 13, 2020

We’re also working on an Association sponsored fundraiser to attempt to raise funds to support our community, including healthcare and frontline workers fighting to help us address the pandemic. For instance The New York Food Truck Association launched a GoFundMe campaign to support these heroes as well as providing money to help support our local food truck members whose businesses have been shut down due to this pandemic. We’re currently investigating whether there’s enough buy in and support to establish the initiative.


SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 2020 UPDATE
FROM JOHN LEVY

This is an interim update for our Members and the general public on steps being taken by the Association and its trucks to assist the needs of our community during this challenging time. We expect to have further information in the next few days about how the food trucks can participate in serving our community. Our first priority will be to feed people who may be encountering food insecurity for the first time, or as they have historically, exacerbated by Covid 19-related disruptions in the food supply chain. The unique resources that our Trucks have as mobile kitchens with refrigeration and hot holding capabilities enable us to perform important food distribution services in a variety of locations that may be hard to serve otherwise.

In partnership with the Independent Restaurant Coalition- https://www.saverestaurants.co/– other organizations, and state and city officials, we anticipate having many opportunities to serve our community including helping to feed the heroic essential workers serving on the front lines of this crisis in much the same way as three food trucks did in Camden, NJ yesterday and today: https://6abc.com/timely-coronavirus-food-truck-pandemic/6076451/.

More information will be posted as soon as it’s available.


Monday March 16, 2020:
A MESSAGE FROM MFTA PRESIDENT JOHN LEVY ON CORONAVIRUS GUIDELINES

On behalf of all of us at the Minnesota Food Truck Association, let me express our heartfelt concerns for all of those who have been impacted by this challenging and unprecedented pandemic. As you know, things are changing at an incredible speed and there’s no question that the virus has profoundly changed life for all of us. And things are likely to get worse before they get better. As of the writing of this note, which is Sunday evening, March 15th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a recommendation that there should be no gatherings of 50 or more people in the United States for the next eight weeks.

I want to assure our entire community that we at the Minnesota Food Truck Association are and will be regularly monitoring developments and will attempt to issue additional notices as they become necessary or appropriate.

Besides the immediate health impact and concerns, I know that many in our community are super worried about the economic effects this pandemic is going to have on our businesses. There’s no getting around it, it’s going to have a significant effect. We want to assure our team members, employees and customers that we’re doing everything we can to comply with the guidelines provided by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure the safety of our community.

All of us at the Minnesota Food Truck Association are committed to safely serving our community and making a difference for our members, sponsors, employees, partners, customers and community We want to assure all that we are taking every precaution necessary to maintain a clean and healthy environment exceeding or conforming to the requirements of applicable health department guidelines.
Commitment to Good Hygiene Practices.

As a general matter we are always practicing good hygiene, but in the present circumstances we’re being extra vigilant to protect employees, customers and other visitors to our trucks, including the following basic infection prevention measures:

  • Frequent and thorough hand washing
  • Availability of Purell and similar hand sanitizers
  • Wearing of Disposable gloves
  • Encouraging respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes, and providing easy access to tissues and no-touch trash bins
  • Discouraging use of other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment
  • Establishing routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other areas of the work environment
  • Where appropriate, mandatory screening of employees; and Requiring workers to stay home if they are sick.

Conclusion. This is a challenging time for all of us. We’re trying to do whatever we can to help to protect and care for our community. Please be sure to let us know if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions.

Thanks, John Levy