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Credit: Katie Zhao

A minor uproar rippled through campus yesterday after students learned that many of the food trucks on campus were raising their prices. 

The vendors increasing their rates include New York’s Famous Gyros trucks located on the 37th block of Spruce Street and in front of David Rittenhouse Laboratory on 33rd Street, as well as Amahad Gyro Kings and Troy Mediterranean Food which are both located on the 37th block of Spruce Street. All these vendors announced the change with the same laminated sign posted on the side of their trucks.

“Due to the high cost of merchandise, we are unable to maintain the same prices. Therefore, we are going to raise prices effective 9/25/2017,” the sign read.

The price hikes affected most items throughout the trucks’ menus, with platters being raised from $5.00 to $6.00, and sandwiches being raised from $4.00 to $5.00.

Some students expressed their frustrations on Penn's meme page, Official Unofficial Penn Squirrel Catching Club, where certain related posts had almost 900 reactions. But other students felt the outrage was unfounded. 

"I don't really think it's a big deal," Engineering sophomore Curie Shim said. "I think it's interesting so many people chose to get upset about this, when there are so many other issues on campus."

Engineering senior He Chen agreed, adding, "I personally don't care too much."

The food truck vendors also insist there is good reason for the rise.

One worker — who requested anonymity to avoid retaliation from coworkers or superiors — explained that the price vendors have to pay for food and drinks has recently increased. 

He said the price for meat has become more expensive, particularly that of chicken which had risen by about 40 percent. He also attributed some of the price increase to Philadelphia’s controversial Sweetened Beverage Tax which places a 1.5 cents per ounce of sweeter charge on drinks like soda which are commonly included in the food trucks' meals. 

The vendor added the recent price change was almost unprecedented, recalling that the price for a platter had remained stable at $5.00 for years. However, he said between higher costs and new taxes, the food trucks “had to make a change.”