Charleston Food Truck to Provide Daily Meals to Those in Need
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
American Rescue Plan funds will help bring a new food truck to the streets of Charleston, providing free hot meals to the region's most vulnerable residents.
Charleston food pantry and soup kitchen Manna Meal was recently awarded around $900,000 to purchase and operate the food truck.
Amy Wolfe, executive director of Manna Meal, said demand for food has jumped by more than half since the pandemic, and has not slowed down since. She pointed out Manna Meal provides two free meals every day to residents facing food insecurity, and is ramping up efforts to keep up with need.
"And then, of course, with rising costs across the board on everything and supply-chain issues, we're seeing people that have never needed assistance before who are very thankful that we are able to be there for them," Wolfe observed.
Wolfe noted she expects the food truck to be in operation later this year. According to Feeding America, 1 in 7 adults in West Virginia, and 1 in 5 children are unsure where they will get their next meal.
She added a food truck will help ensure people unable to travel to the pantry's main location do not miss out on hot meals.
"It gives us the opportunity to those who can't make it in for whatever reason, and it's also expanding the service to touch more people," Wolfe contended. "And when we empower more people, our entire community benefits."
She emphasized nationwide, many communities, especially those in rural regions, are deploying food trucks as an alternative to the traditional food pantry.
"It's a fully functioning food truck," Wolfe stressed. "We will be able to not only cook meals there, but we designed it to have a little bit more hot storage space. "
Research shows food trucks can be an effective and economical way to bring healthy meals to residents living in food deserts.
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