A Snack Truck Success Story
Furman’s Snack Truck provides more than just good eats.
While we all mull over what has been lost this semester, I hope we can all agree that some things have been gained during the pandemic...tasty snacks are definitely one of those things.
@ snatchasnacktruck Instagram
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Many of us know the feeling of late-night snack cravings. They hit hard and all at once, demanding to be satisfied only by the perfect culinary creation. Before COVID-19, students left campus to satisfy these hankerings, flocking to Cookout or Dairy Queen to get that ideal snack. Yet now, with Furman Focused emails constantly reminding the student body not to leave campus, those runs have become few and far between. However, instead of just discouraging students from leaving, Furman did something to encourage us to stay — they introduced the Snatch a Snack Truck.
The truck was conceptualized about halfway through the fall semester and has become a weekly ritual on campus since. On any given Wednesday or Thursday night, an onlooker can find students flocking outside to the truck as it stops at each campus residence with the surprise snack and theme of the week. The snack can fall anywhere along the spectrum of sweet or savory, while the theme varies with the season: past themes have included Octoberfest, Valentine’s Day, a pajama party, and quarantine.
The snack truck started off as an experiment to provide excitement for students feeling the stress of academic life at Furman. Yet after its initial launch, the snack truck remained relatively unknown — the biggest issue to overcome was notoriety. While the truck had an instagram (@snatchasnacktruck), students were not responding in the way the administration had expected. Then came the train horn.
Sophomore Isaiah Ives is a student member of the snack truck team, working alongside catering director Becca Caccamise and catering manager Margaret Dickert. Isaiah owns a unique minivan outfitted with a train horn and amber beacons. The minivan is a personal project of Isaiah’s, and he has spent many months modifying the van into what he now calls the “Flo-rider.” The Flo-rider is now the voice of the snack truck— — once it reaches a residence hall, the Flo-rider gives one or two loud blasts of its horn and students know the snacks have arrived. For Isaiah, driving with the truck is hardly a weekly chore; “I immensely enjoy it,” he said. “I like to make people smile and it [the Snack Truck] makes a lot of people smile.” When asked if he thought the snack truck would have occurred pre-pandemic, Isaiah said, “It wouldn’t because there were other options.” Both Isaiah and the Snack Truck have filled a void in campus life.
The snack truck is hugely popular on campus now, but will it remain central to campus snacking even after COVID? Isaiah hopes so; he said that “it’s something that could have only come around because of COVID. In a time of sorrow this establishes some fun traditions that may last well past COVID.” For the sake of all late-night cravings, I hope the snack truck becomes a campus staple. Yet beyond the mere popularity of the truck, the symbolism of its success should be acknowledged. It is easy to overlook the positive notes in a semester dominated by restrictions on activities, gatherings, and opportunities. However, we should not ignore the bright spots of life at Furman, even during a pandemic, and the Snack Truck is no exception.