From early April through late October, the Food Shuttle’s food truck, the Mobile Tastiness Machine (MTM) is out in low-income neighborhoods feeding kids fresh hot dinners. The MTM serves neighborhoods such as Parrish Manor, and Horseshoe off Lake Wheeler Road, as well as at the Camden Street Learning Garden. Kids and youth under 18 receive free dinner plates—first-come, first-served—and from what we can tell they really like it.
“The FOOD,” said 9-year-old Tereck, laughing, when asked what he enjoys the most. Chef Terri notes that seasonal fruit and cherry tomatoes are particular favorites amongst the kids. Children from 3 to 17 line up at the serving window, one-by-one and in groups, many of them returning with fond memories of the sloppy joes served last summer. Recently the dinner on offer was hamburgers, fried okra, coleslaw, tossed salad and fresh fruit. Beatrice, who lives a few streets away, shepherded in eight of her young neighbors, doling out cups of cool water, and distributing to-go plates amongst the crowd.
IFFS employee Maria Biron has spent the last three summers on the MTM as driver and lead cook. “I really enjoy serving the kids. Every day is a learning experience for me,” she says. “I am sure that some of these children would not have dinner if we were not out here. I feel like I am doing something important for them.” Maria serves 80+ meals nightly if the weather accommodates, and that can run to 9,000 hot meals over the course of the summer!
Keep an eye out for the MTM on the roads this summer, and know that wherever they are headed, children will be fed.
2017 Mobile Tastiness Machine schedule, 4p-6p:
- Monday—Camden Street Learning Garden
- Tuesday—Horseshoe Mobile Home Park
- Wednesday—Parrish Manor
- Thursday—Camden Street Learning Garden