One of the few positive aspects of the pandemic and all of the associated closings was the increase of food truck access to residents. Through social media, area restaurants are notifying followers that they are making road trips and bringing their unique cuisine to neighborhoods to increase their revenue lost during the pandemic.
“It’s like having gourmet restaurants on wheels,” said H2 Markets owner Chad Houck. “It’s like the old food courts at malls — there’s something for everyone and it’s really high-caliber food.”
H2 Markets organizes and runs numerous food trucks in Anne Arundel County including at Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Company on Tuesdays, and in April, a new food truck at 8401 Veterans Highway (across from East/West Highway) in Millersville. The second event is being called Food Truck Fridays on the Farm.
“These nights are fantastic for families as the variety is spectacular,” Houck said. “Families can eat together and enjoy the friendly atmosphere and stay off of their phones for a while.”
Food Truck Tuesdays has been at Earleigh Heights since 2014, with nearly 12 trucks there every week. The followers of the food truck craze go to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to see what trucks are participating on any given Tuesday. There are 9,000 followers for the food trucks in the area.
“We have a great selection of cuisine include Heavenly Hotdog Grill, Greek on the Street, Kooper’s Chowhound Burger Wagon, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, Diner on the Go, as well as places that offer pizza, pasta, tacos and desserts, said Earleigh Heights event organizer Andy Price.
Price estimates that close to 1,000 people come through on some Tuesday nights, and the food trucks change locations, so there are always new trucks to choose from.
“The event is weather-driven as when it’s a beautiful night, many people will bring lawn chairs, blankets and their dogs to the event, and it’s great because there is a real tailgate atmosphere,” Price said.
Food trucks also bring fundraising opportunities to the Earleigh Heights firehouse, and for the one in Millersville, some of the proceeds go to the Orphan Grain Train organization. Orphan Grain Train collects and donates clothing and medical supplies to needy areas in America and throughout the world. Former Severna Park Chamber of Commerce CEO Linda Zahn was instrumental in establishing Food Truck Fridays on the Farm.
“After I retired from the chamber, I wanted to become involved with a charity and Orphan Grain Train was part of the chamber,” Zahn said. “We plan on having a stand there on Fridays to help the awareness of our organization and the great work it does supplying humanitarian aid across the world.”
The organization also helps with natural disasters as well as donates medical equipment. This winter, Zahn and her husband, Steve, delivered 900 boxes of winter clothing and coats to Appalachia.
For Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Company, the fundraising from Food Truck Tuesdays has offset the cost of equipment that the firehouse continues to need.
Both food truck events are open from 4:00pm to 8:00pm and masks are required.
“They’re great events and [it] shows that there is still a great sense of community and folks have a great time,” Houck said.