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Ms. Whitfield’s bright pink truck was parked on the western side of the block, and like the others parked near it, had a large red and white sign asking people to “Save DC Food Trucks.”

Passers-by took stickers with the same message on them, but that was all they walked away with if they approached the trucks looking for food. One owner said on a typical Monday he could make anywhere from $700 to $1,200 during the lunch rush.

“Some trucks could not come because they said they could not afford to do this,” Ms. Whitfield said. “We can’t afford not to.”