A request by Edgerton Memorial United Methodist Church to operate a non-profit food truck in Selma didn’t get town council approval Tuesday night, but it did prompt members of the Selma Town Council to ask for a revised policy on when and where food trucks will be allowed to operate.
Planning Director Julie Maybee said she would prepare an updated ordinance for the council to review in the near future.
Council members discussed the differences between non-profit and commercial food trucks, and the difference between a food truck stocked with a kitchen versus a food distribution truck where items had been prepared in an off-site kitchen. Members said they did not want to prevent groups from helping the needy with free food distribution but guidelines were needed to food trucks, especially commercial operations that could operate up to 7 days a week.
Councilman Tommy Holmes said, “If a church group wants to feed the homeless, I’d hate to turn them down.”
Councilman William Overby agreed saying non-profits and church groups distributing food to the needy should not be forced to pay the town for a permit to operate.
Board members also discussed various options to regulate food trucks, both on private and commercial properties.
Mayor Cheryl Oliver said they serve a purpose. Town Attorney Chip Hewett said Raleigh heavily regulates food trucks in their city.
While the board agreed the ordinance needed to be rewritten, Holmes cautioned town staff in the meanwhile, “Just don’t turn somebody away willing to feed the homeless or hungry.”