Local News

Nonprofit food truck on a mission to feed hungry kids

Posted June 12, 2013

— Food trucks are a popular trend nationwide, with loyal customers lining up to catch a quick bite from the convenient rolling restaurants.

But there’s a different kind of food truck on the move in the Triangle – one that’s feeding hungry kids for free.

The mission of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Mobile Meals program is to feed kids who are missing daily meals served at school while they are on summer break.

“In the summer when they’re home, especially families with multiple children, they’re already low-income so they may not have the means to feed the kids lunch every day,” said Terri Hutter, who serves as chef on the food truck nicknamed the Mobile Tastiness Machine.

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle has served meals for years, but this is the first time the nonprofit has used the food truck concept to bring food directly to neighborhood kids.

“There’s a lot of hungry kids out there,” said Antoinette Wilkins, who was the driver on Wednesday’s trip to Parrish Manor in Garner.
“Man, those kids just take off and come running out there,” she said. “They’d be so excited to see the truck come.”

Interfaith food truck New food truck takes free meals to hungry kids

Once the truck arrives, it's not long before the kids show up.

“Let us get set up,” Wilkins tells them. “Give us about 10 minutes, OK?”

Once the food is ready, a free lunch is always appreciated.

“When they give us the food, sometimes I eat it all because it’s so good,” said 7-year-old Adrian Bautista.

Each week, the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle serves more than 600 children at various stops in the Triangle. But with 116,000 hungry children in seven counties, there’s a lot more cooking and driving to be done.

Wilkins said the mission is simple: “Just to see those kids happy and make sure everybody is fed and full.”

Visit the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle website to donate or volunteer.


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  • Hippy_mom Jun 13, 2013

    Terkel, tax money goes for a lot of things that you don't like, I'm sure. Where you get your information? Perhaps you should volunteer at one of the places that feeds people and find out for yourself just what the deal is. Maybe then you'd have an understanding, and appreciation, for how these organizations are doing so much with so little. There are lots of things my taxes go toward that I'm not happy about, but that's the way life goes, eh? So, how about a little less contempt and a little more compassion? And if you can't think of it in those terms, think about it like this: these are the kids who will be counting out your meds someday and studies show that kids have a hard time learning when they are hungry. Don't you want them to have the basics so they'll be able to do that? Because they've been shown kindness, they are more likely to pass that on to their fellow man. One of these days you may be in need and, if you are, think about your words when people judge you.

  • aspenstreet1717 Jun 13, 2013

    I remember when I was a kid we had to work the garden. Man was it hot. But the food was good and plentiful. No food trucks or food stamps for us. Too much like work for people nowadays.

  • fishon Jun 13, 2013


    Their partners. A good idea, well executed.

  • slcota Jun 13, 2013

    I have learned in my life, people are most critical of situations they have never had the "pleasure" of enduring. This is amazing, so glad they are out there helping these kids and families! Hats off to you Inter-faith.

  • slcota Jun 13, 2013

    Terkel.. do you even know how much money people get in food stamps every month? I work with a needy family of 5 that gets them.. for 5 people they get $120. How far can YOU stretch that a month to feed 5 people? How about it is none of your business. Believe it or not the MAJORITY of F.S. recipents are NOT scaming the system, selling their FS$$ or anything else. They are everyday hard working people down on their luck. Just try to wrap your head around THAT concept.

    I think this is a wonderful idea, and I am so glad they are able to do this. In fact I need to find out about donating to help them out! It is helping parents not have to make a choice between feeding the kids and keeping a roof over their heads!

  • LastSon1981 Jun 13, 2013

    I think you are missing a point. A good deed is a good deed. This article isn't about tax dollars or prosecuting families. What have you done lately in the name of charity. Not to get anything in return not to get a day off work or a tax write off. Lend your community a helping hand or mind your business that's all I'm saying.

  • Terkel Jun 13, 2013

    1981, the Shuttle doesn't have to be vigilante. You're making a connection that isn't there, then slapping someone else around for YOUR thoughts. And why shouldn't parents be prosecuted for not feeding their kids?

    Hippy, do you know that the Shuttle uses tax money? They're acting on beliefs all right, but with someone else's money. We have every right to criticize how that money is spent. It's OURS.

    So far there's been no information on how the recipients are chosen and whether any of their "struggling families" pay anything at all for the service.

  • LastSon1981 Jun 13, 2013

    Yokel, 1981, "cutie"...why so bitter and ugly?


    Just look at the comments people turning something good into people should be prosecuted for not feeding their kids. It's like you actually have to be a vigilante and stay out of the news if you want to do good deeds now and days.

  • Hippy_mom Jun 13, 2013

    whatelseisnew, why are you so bitter? This is a great news story about people walking the walk and talking the talk. They are acting on their beliefs and I think that's great.

  • Terkel Jun 13, 2013

    Uh, yeah, Pepe...WE GET IT. WE DID THE MATH. Believe it or not we comprehend that kids are out of school, and so don't get SCHOOL meals. What daze was asking is something you couldn't grasp evidently: where is the food stamp money going? Sold, maybe, for cash so babymama can buy cigs, beer and other drugs?

    This is another reason to take charity out of the hands of govt. DSS isn't going to reduce its own caseload by making sure it serves only the truly needy. Churches - at least the ones that don't get publicity every Monday night - are concerned with ministering to the poor, not with keeping sweet govt jobs and retirement benes for as many cronies as possible.

    The downside for church recips is that they have to look someone in the eye as they take money and food; they can't just call a toll-free number and find out how much is left on their EBT card.