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Food Truck Quest Continues For St. Louis’ Tikka Tikka Taco

7UMass Amherst, Amherst, Mass. UMass Amherst UMass Amherst might seem like another large school with plenty of food options, but their dining service program really knows how to please its students. Late-night dining is found in almost every dining hall on campus (as well as one delivering food as late as 4 a.m.)! And why wouldnt you want to order this campus food around the clock? Blackened tilapia, chicken breast schnitzel with chipotle salsa, and Irish coffee bread pudding with Kahlua sauce are only a few of the delicious dining hall offerings. While many students rave about Baby Berk, the burger and taco food truck conveniently located on campus, the school’s pledge to stay local and organic is not overlooked. Through their “Real Food Challenge Campus Commitment,” UMass Amherst hopes their food will be at least 20 percent locally grown and fairly traded. And if their Composting Program and Local Purchasing Program didnt convince you enough, theres a farmers’ market on campus that is entirely student-run. Additionally, students can enjoy a slew of social dining events every semester, such as the Spring Fling BBQ that precedes an intense Dance Dance Revolution competition. Their highly impressive dedication to satisfying the student body and the planet places them high in our rankings. 8Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Ga. Kennesaw State If you needed to describe Kennesaw State Universitys dining services in one word, it would be “originality.” They do everything they can to provide their students with the most exciting dining services possible, and theyre doing a great job.

Louis’ Tikka Tikka Taco Saved Tikka Tikka Taco was in the lead going into the last leg. Never. “The race is over, but it feels like our journey is just beginning,” Mike Swaleh said Monday. “We have a concept too great to give up on, but too few resources to do it on our own. We are hoping our fans believe in us enough to help bridge the gap.” So Monday morning, after a finale party in which friends and family saw them come in second to Aloha Plate from Hawaii, Mike and Shaun Swaleh launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise $30,000. That would provide a down payment on a food truck, finally giving St. Louisans a chance to taste their “modern Indian-Pakistani street food.” “We may not have won the Great Food Truck Race, but we can still win a truck….with YOUR help!” the Swalehs say on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo . Donations of $10 are sought, and at that rate it would take just 3,000 people to reach the goal. Of course, you can also contribute larger amounts, depending on how desperate you are for chicken tikka tacos or how much you believe T3 was robbed in the finale. The Swalehs are also looking for a partner. “Ideally, we’d find someone trustworthy who has experience in the food truck business here in St. Louis to help usnavigate the local market and join us as a teammate rather than just an employee,” Mike says Gail Pennington is the TV critic for the Post-Dispatch. Follow her at stltoday.com/tubetalk, @GailPennington on Twitter and facebook.com/tubetalkPD.

Proposed reduction in food stamps program is fair and compassionate

This bill should become law because the current program hurts the very people it was designed to help. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat, once said, “The issue of welfare is not what it costs those who provide it, but what it costs those who receive it.” Giving free food to an able-bodied adult for years without work requirements harms that person’s motivation, self-esteem, and dignity. Job searches are brutal on the ego, and government programs can act as a disincentive to keep on trying, ultimately delaying the satisfaction and self-respect that comes from earning a paycheck. Up to $10,000 a year in food stamps is a powerful incentive to stay home. Lacking attractive job options, a person might decide that a 20-hour-a-week retail or restaurant job is not worth it, even as a stop-gap measure until the economy improves. The status quo has an even more pernicious effect on children. One of the most profound ways parents demonstrate love for a child is by providing for his basic needs. Through their sacrifice, children experience love and learn from example what it means to be a good parent. When I was a kid, my dad was an appliance salesman at Sears and later a tire salesman. My mom took in ironing, watched other people’s children, and occasionally cleaned houses. Like the factory work my grandparents did, these jobs were not flashy or ego-stoking; they put food on the table.