Drive Change

Drive Change

VERIFIED business since Apr 2015

Drive Change builds and operates state of the art, locally-sourced food trucks that hire and train formerly incarcerated youth (ages 16-25 years old). We broaden employment and educational opportunities to young people returning to the community from adult jail/prison so that they can live crime-free, bright futures.

601 W 26th Street
Suite 325
New York, NY 10001
United States

Emily Diamond's picture
  • Community

    We believe in the power of a shared meal. We believe in connecting with people over delicious food and great service. We also believe in the power of collective impact: we are working with other social justice organizations to recruit and train young people and we are connecting with other food businesses to provide for the highest quality of our product. We are also working with other food businesses who are socially responsible to create permanent employment placements for our participants after they finish the Drive Change program. By decreasing recidivism, we help save tax payer money and foster a safer, more just, city. 

  • Environment

    We locally source all of our ingredients, generate healthy food access through our mobility, minimize food waste through partnerships, and ensure that all of our disposables are environmentally safe.

  • Social

    We exclusively hire formerly incarcerated youth to create sustainable income and foster transferable skills that young people can apply to future opportunities. All the sales off of our truck recycle back into the organization to subsidize our 8-month re-entry transitional employment program. Each truck can enroll 30 young people per year (on a rotational basis). We aim to lower recidivism from 70% to 20% for our participants.  Good food and good service are at the front of our efforts. Our trucks are using their visibility and human interaction to communicate with the larger public about injustice in the criminal justice system. For example, few New Yorkers know that NY is one of two states where 16 year olds (and above) are automatically considered adults in the criminal justice system. We want more people to know about this so we can help raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18 in NY.

  • Employees Culture

    Our model is all about our employees. Beyond employment, transferable skill learning, counseling and mentorship we also host a weekly "Sunday Super" - where we all eat and cook together. Sunday Supers are opened up to the larger "family"/community once a month when young people in the program are allowed to invite three people to cook and eat with us. 

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