UI Dining launches Street Hawk Food Truck in attempt to relieve stress on dining halls

In an effort to accommodate the record-breaking influx of new students, the University of Iowa Housing & Dining has added another meal plan option: the Street Hawk Food Truck. Non-students can also purchase meals there, though only credit cards will be accepted. The new vendor-on-wheels will be available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on eastside campus’s T. Anne Cleary Walkway.

Photo by University of Iowa
Photo via University of Iowa

The Street Hawk will offer savory grilled and smoked options, such as a bacon barbecue cheeseburger and a rotational smoked meat meal, in addition to rotating taco options and a vegetarian falafel plate.

According to UI Director of Dining Jill Irvin, the truck comes as a response to increasing numbers of students and previous knowledge of the already-strained dining halls. With extreme overcrowding at the existing food locations, an outdoor option in the heart of campus seemed like a viable solution.

In contrast to private food truck vendors, such as Local Burrito and Island Vybz Mobile Rasta-rant, the Street Hawk Food Truck does not fall under the 2015 ordinance passed by Iowa City Council, which requires a $1000 city-issued permit, parking at meters and paying for occupied spaces and forbids operation within 150 feet of brick and mortar restaurants, the Pentacrest or any food service options in UI buildings.

When asked whether the UI considered contracting local, private vendors, Irvin stated that wasn’t an option because the students would not be able to use their meal plan swipes with a non-University vendor.

While technically on wheels, the truck will stay in just one location this year, though Irvin said they will consider moving the truck to multiple locations for the 2017-18 school year.