PART 4: Food Truck feeds kids where they live

Hunger does not take the summer off! Children and working families are even more at risk of food insecurity during the summer. In addition to fighting hunger year-round with programs such Mobile Markets, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle has several tactics for meeting the summer need. We’ll share them with you during this 4-part summer series:

  1. Summer hunger heats up
  2. Feeding kids through partnerships
  3. ‘Cooking Matters for Kids’ teaches healthy habits
  4. “Mobile Tastiness Machine” Food Truck feeds kids where they live
Mobile Tastiness Machine food truck
Mobile Tastiness Machine food truck

If hungry kids aren’t at school being fed during the summer, then we need to bring the food to them … right where they live! That was the original idea behind the Mobile Tastiness Machine (MTM), our beautiful orange food truck. One afternoon each week at four different sites kids under 18 years of age will be fed a hot, fresh, wholesome meal off the truck!

Neighborhoods such as Parrish Manor in Garner, and Horseshoe off of Lake Wheeler Road are communities with lots of kids, but are isolated enough that there aren’t a lot of summer activity options. “We deliver to neighborhoods where children are less likely to be going out to summer programs that provide meals,” says Chef Terri Hutter.

Maria on the Mobile Tastiness Machine
Maria on the Mobile Tastiness Machine

This is our fourth summer providing hot meals straight from the MTM into kids’ waiting hands. Staffed with a Driver/Chef and a Culinary Job Training Program Intern, the "Mobile Tastiness Machine" serves between 80-100 meals daily, with the largest site serving 125. Previous drivers have been CJTP graduates, and the Intern gets vital hands-on job training working on the truck.

As always, one Food Shuttle program supports another, as we respond to hunger with innovation and creativity. Fresh produce from the Teaching Farm and our Gleaning Program are an important feature to these summer meals. A sample menu includes: chicken and vegetable stir-fry, rice, salad, fruit, and fruit-infused water to drink (no added sugars!).

“They love the fresh fruit we serve,” says Chef Terri. She acknowledges we are really lucky to have great relationships with local farms. “Sometimes you see a kid who has never tasted a fresh blueberry … and they love them! In the heat of summer, we might freeze the fruit to make it that much more of a refreshing treat.”

So if you see our orange MTM driving down the road some late afternoon this summer, you can be sure we are on our way to serve hot, fresh meals to hungry kids. Remember to wave as you go by!

2016 “Mobile Tastiness Machine” food truck will be at these sites from 4-6pm:

Mondays:        Crosby-Garfield Collaborative

Tuesdays:        Horseshoe Mobile Home Park

Wednesdays:   Parrish Manor

Thursdays:       Camden Street Learning Garden

Thanks to the support of IFFS donors, hundreds of children receive healthy food in the summer. Please give today to ensure these important programs remain available.


By Sally Bache, IFFS Administrative Services Manager. Contact: