Featuring a letter from Jill, unique solutions to summer hunger, CJTP & Teaching Farm celebrations, special corporate food donation, & volunteer spotlight
We just love it when learning meets opportunity and –BAM! A career is born! After graduating from our Culinary Job Training Program (CJTP) in Sept 2011, Nathan Vanderberg, is now the proud chef and co-owner of Taste of NOLA food truck. Nathan entered CJTP on the advice of his wife Tracy, who encouraged him to transform his passion for baking (poundcakes are his specialty!) into a viable career. Through CJTP, Nathan says he learned not only kitchen skills, but ServSafe sanitation and food handling best practices, as well as how to run a business.
“I learned how to do my own thing,” said Nathan.
His “own thing” turned out to be a food truck that he and his business partner, James Obie Bolden, were able to purchase last year, enabling Nathan to transition out of part-time work into a full-time role as chef. Taste of NOLA specializes in jambalaya, gumbo, beans & rice, and—putting that passion for baking to good use— beignets! Find them on Facebook or get a menu and truck schedule at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support your local chef!
Last week, the Mobile Tastiness Machine made its way on the road for a pilot run in the community of Parrish Manor, where we also work with neighborhood youth to manage a community garden and host nutrition education classes. The food truck, which houses our Mobile Meals program, made its debut with tasty turkey stir-fry with vegetables and brown rice, and a side of fresh strawberries. "Yay!" came the first customer's response upon hearing the menu.
Chef Terri Hutter and Kitchen Manager Sunshine Beard worked the window.
Kids in the community gave curious looks and shouts over to the colorful truck as the school bus dropped them off in front of the Parrish Manor office where we were parked. Some were hesitant to wander over at first, but once they heard that the food was free, they didn't just wander up to the truck....they ran.
Word spread pretty quickly, and soon dozens of kids were served hot, nutritious meals.
Look for the truck in low-income communities this summer serving up hot lunches and supper six days a week, along with nutrition education and physical activities.
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle's new food truck, which some of us call the Mobile Tastiness Machine, made a trial run on Thursday, feeding children bagged dinners at Neighbor To Neighbor’s after-school mentoring program - with Feeding America CEO Bob Aiken doing the honors. The newly installed CEO of the nation’s primary hunger relief organization was in Raleigh to meet with regional leaders from Feeding America, the nation's food bank network. But first, he wanted to see firsthand IFFS’s unique approach to ending hunger as a non-traditional food bank, including innovative programs in urban agriculture, farming, and job skills training. We showed him our new truck and then with our Board member, Smokey Norris of USFoods, he was off to feed children. The Mobile Tastiness Machine will be hitting the streets in selected neighborhoods later this spring, serving healthy meals prepared by our culinary staff to kids during out of school times, along with nutrition education, physical activity promotion, and bags of fresh produce for kids to take home to their families!