Drive Change is a food truck social enterprise that employs, trains and empowers young people (ages 16-25) who have recently come out of jail or prison.
Did you know that New York is soon to be the ONLY state that automatically arrests 16-year olds as adults? The adult jail system is no place for youth. Young people coming out of adult jail or prison are 75% more likely to wind up re-arrested and/or re-incarcerated than adults. This is because opportunities for these young people are greatly limited.
The Food Truck Solution
Our Founder, Jordyn Lexton, taught adolescent incarcerated youth on Rikers Island for 3 years. She wanted to generate channels to success for these young people by using her favorite business model in NYC: Food Trucks!
While peers like Homeboy Industries in LA and Mission Pie in SF have used food businesses to work with formerly incarcerated people, we take the food business into the 21st century with our state-of-the-art modern food trucks. Our visibility will generate a broad customer base whose desire for our food will fuel a hunger for change.
Drive Change combines models that have been proven successful to build a program specifically for youth. Drive Change will provide these concrete services that are proven to reduce re-incarceration:
1. Paid, transitional, quality employment.
2. Concrete, transferable, industry-specific skills and credentials.
3. Community building and outreach.
4. Group and individual counseling with licensed social workers.
We have the support of established organizations across NY, including our host organization, the Center for Employment Opportunities.
That’s awesome, but what kind of food will the truck serve???
We are going to be selling a savory and sweet menu, featuring locally produced New York State maple syrup, along with other responsibly sourced, local ingredients.
How you can make a difference!
We are in the process of buying a used truck shell. Then we will start the 3-month conversion process with our incredible designers/engineers, Shanghai Stainless and Situ Studio in Brooklyn, so that we can hit the streets of NY by September 2013.
To do this, we need your help. At the moment, we have secured about $75,000 in private donations to help us buy a used truck, custom-build a kitchen inside, and transform it into a modern log cabin to complement our delicious maple-centered menu.
In order to complete the fabrication and launch our first truck, we are seeking an additional $40,000. That’s where you come in.
Your donation means that we will be able to pilot the food truck in the fall of 2013 and accept our first full program cohort of 10 young people by early 2014. Once we are up and running, we’ll work with 30 participants per year, per truck.
Beyond actively changing the lives of young people who are leaving the criminal justice system, we are offering awesome perks for donating. Check them out! Our perks range from bumper stickers all the way up to catering from the food truck for an entire party once we’re up and running.
**While we do not yet have 501c3 status, Drive Change is a charitable trust. Please email us for questions about tax-deductibility (firstname.lastname@example.org).