Students Line Up for Food Truck Treats Pronto’s food truck brought free cupcakes and hot cocoa to W&L’s Cannan Green on Valentine’s Day.
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting physical distancing guidelines have inspired the student activities staff at Washington and Lee University to come up with fun ways to bring students together without bringing them… well, too close together.
Some of those activities, such as the Valentine’s Day food truck visit to campus, have proven so popular that Kelsey Goodwin, W&L’s director of student activities, says they’ll continue to take place through the rest of this academic year – and possibly beyond.
The Valentine’s Day event on Sunday, Feb. 14 involved a food truck visit to Cannan Green from the popular Lexington coffee shop Pronto Caffé & Gelateria. Goodwin said 200 students showed up over three hours to grab free strawberry éclair cupcakes and hot chocolate. The treats were all purchased by W&L Student Affairs, so all students had to bring was a sweet tooth.
Goodwin called the event a good morale-booster.
“The food truck event was great this weekend,” Goodwin said. “It gave people an opportunity to catch up and connect, and it was grab-and-go, so students could take their treats and run back to hang out on their halls or in the Commons.”
Food truck visits are ideal because students can stay masked and maintain physical distancing in line, and free treats means no money or charge cards have to exchange hands. And the visits benefit not only students, but local food businesses, which is important at a time when many restaurants are suffering from reduced foot traffic because of the pandemic. Goodwin said Lexington restaurants recently have gone out of their way to package food in individual portions so that students can safely enjoy it during student activities, and W&L is happy to provide them with additional business.
Goodwin is working on finalizing a deal for a different food truck to visit campus in March, and she hopes to do the same in April and May.
“Students go crazy for a lot of the local restaurants,” she said. “You can always tempt them with free and interesting food.”