For the last 15 years I have called Chandler, Arizona my home. I’ve built my adult life here, moving to the area just 2 short years after I married. We moved from Alma School & Elliot to Alma School & Queen Creek within a month of our 2nd child being born. I’ve invested substantial time and energy creating an ideal life for my family.
We’ve seen people and businesses come and go, but through it all there are many things that Chandler has been very strong in – quality of life, education, family life, and real estate. I have enjoyed calling this city of 270,000 fellow residents home.
However, there is one area that has been noticeably absent from our city, and perhaps it existed before I moved to Chandler in 2000. What is it you ask?
A sense of community
While Chandler IS a community, having a sense of community is something completely different. Sense of community has been defined as as
“a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together.” (McMillan & Chavis 1986)
While there is no doubt that there are specific blocks or neighborhoods within Chandler have this sense of community, if you are a long-term resident here, you may have come to notice that this phrase doesn’t describe our city as a collective whole. Think about it…
Do you know your neighbor’s names? What’s going on in their lives? Their kids names? When was the last time your interacted with a neighbor beyond a customary wave while pulling into your garage?
I would venture to guess that a very low percentage of Chandler residents would be able to fill in the blanks to these kind of questions. And I am not referring to just your immediate neighbors, this is just the easiest example to illustrate the point. And believe me, I get it. People work long hours and are tired at the end of the day and just want to get home & spend quality time with their families.
But, there has to be a solution. I believe bringing a regular food truck event into our city could start to create a potential chain reaction of building into a larger sense of community.
How can food trucks help foster a sense of community?
It’s the most simplistic of human rituals: breaking bread together. Not only are people excited to patronize food trucks, but the regular-attendees would see and get to know each other better over time. People that turned out would have similar interests and passion about the event itself as well as the community.
While Chandler certain has its share of community-related events that are well-intentioned and plenty of fun (Ostrich Festival, Chandler Block Party, BBQ Festival, Jazz Festival, etc), they haven’t created this kind of neighborly-spirit that is conducive for getting to know other residents on a more personal basis.
Would you be interesting in having a regular event with food trucks in Chandler? Make sure you comment below AND “like” our fan page Chandler Wants Food Trucks