Keep Street Vendors in Your Heart this Valentine’s Day

By: Lyzzeth Mendoza, ICIJ Policy Manager

This Valentine’s Day weekend you can spread love to your local business–especially to street vendors who have been hit the hardest due to this pandemic. 

Street vendors have been in our communities 20 plus years; they work from sunrise to sunset to provide for their families; and despite their contributions to our local economies, they work to earn our respect in hopes that one day they can be part of the local, formal economy. 

Pre-COVID-19, street vendors were already struggling through displacement out of the spaces they repurpose to provide us authentic foods and products. Unfortunately, most street vendors in the Inland Empire have not received direct relief assistance

Join your family and friends and support local vendors this Valentine’s Day and every time you want to get a thoughtful, handmade gift make the effort to buy from local vendors and small businesses. 

  • Need a last minute gift or souvenir, or forgot your face mask at home? Street vendors like Omar and his family make nice, fun masks, and have matching t-shirts and hats. You can find him on the corner of Baseline St and Stoddard Ave in San Bernardino 
  • Taste delicious Guadalajara and Tijuana style tacos, tejuino, churros, pollo asado, tacos de canasta, and more, in different corners throughout Muscoy, ring us and we’ll tell you the spots. 🌮

*** Remember to show your support for local street vendors by keeping them safe from COVID exposure! Practice social distancing and order your food to go. As we said, “spread the love NOT COVID!” We need to continue to take care of our communities so that we can re-open sooner, safer! 

  • Buy a fruit cup, small or large, with or without Tajín, and consume that Vitamin C on different corners throughout San Bernardino:

🍊30th and E St.

🥭Arrowhead and Highland

🍍Highland and Del Rosa

🥥downtown San Bernardino,

plus many other corners, you know where they are (consider buying out their cart 😉) 

  • For fresh and beautiful flower arrangements park safely next to your local flower vendor, and have exact change ready in a small baggie or envelope. 

Street vendors have been true innovators, founders of outdoor dining, and the folks who are truly investing in our neighborhoods. Show Your Love to your IE Vendors this Valentine’s Day–and every celebration in the near future–you can make an extra effort to help the smallest businesses.  

If you want to learn more about our efforts, stay tuned next month for local actions you can take to support vendors and home cooks in our region. 

To report an incident fill out this form: If you see violence against vendors, let us know! 

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