Starting to Make a Difference

Today I felt the fruit of our labors. You’ll have to excuse the bad pun. Today I took 200+lbs of fresh produce that my husband, and co-founder of The Sacramento Reverse Food Truck collected yesterday. Two years ago when I became Vice President I learned about the pervasive problem of poverty in the US. For 10 years I had practiced in a relatively affluent area of the community and hadn’t thought about children living in poverty in my area. To really embarrass myself, I thought the question on our pre-visit questionnaire about WIC was there to alert the medical assistant to fill out a form for the patient. Shortly after taking office I set out to learn more about the severity of the problem in my county and what was being done to address it. I attended meetings at the Sacramento Hunger Coalition; I visited food banks and spoke with directors, volunteers, and supplemental nutrition assistance program representatives. I met with food policy advocates and community members who had been working to address the issues of hunger and poverty for years. I did a lot of listening. Around the same time our local NPR affiliate (Capital Public Radio) started a community collaborative to bring people/organizations who were working to address hunger together for a Radio documentary they were producing called Hidden Hunger. (see January’s Newsletter). Each meeting with local individuals and the collaborative brought forth two pervasive emotions: humility and embarrassment.   I was humbled by the commitment and passion of these individuals in their work to improve the lives of the poorest members of our community. But I was... read more

Hunger Awareness Week

May 9-15 is Hunger Awareness Week. Sacramento Hunger Coalition and its many partners have a series of events this week to bring to light the problem of hunger in our community. The week kicks off with a second Saturday event at Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S. Street, Sacramento, CA from 5-8 PM. The event will feature photos from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Chapter 1 (Northern California) exhibit: Who’s Hungry as well as photos from Capital Public Radio’s documentary Hidden Hunger. AAP’s photos highlight the fact that you can’t tell by looking who is hungry and who isn’t. Capital Public Radio’s photos depict local individuals who are either experiencing food insecurity or working to address the problem of hunger in our community. Light faire will be served. The Reverse Food Truck will be on hand, open for tours, take donations (monetary or food), sign up volunteers and in general raise awareness. Hope you see everyone there!... read more

Buying The Truck

Several weeks ago we decided to go on a full-fledged hunt for a truck.  We came across one in San Jose,  CA that seemed like it might just what the doctor ordered.  The trouble was whether or not to drive to San Jose to check out a truck that may or may not be worth buying.  This is where Dr. Julie Graham-Lunn came to the rescue. Julie is Zoey’s college roommate, has a doctorate in psychology, and lives in Los Altos (close to San Jose).  With no experience in food trucks, Julie was of course the perfect person to check out the truck!  Julie graciously agreed and together with her friend Karen arranged for an inspection. Their report was perfect and began as follows:  “The following data was collected by two unlicensed, uninsured food truck inspectors for your review….” They went on to detail every aspect of the truck from how and where it was parked to measurements, stats, and assessments of the truck and of the sellers.  Apparently the sellers were living in this truck and were selling to upgrade to a slightly larger, “smaller” living space.  Check out this site on small living – yes those are solar panels in the front window. While Julie and Karen were checking out the truck, we met Roel Olivares. Roel built and ran his own food truck (Roel Olivares story) has been consulting on others’ trucks, runs Sacmob (a local association of mobile food vendors), and a business building and consulting on food trucks.  Roel graciously agreed to make the trek to San Jose to give a second opinion (and... read more

What is a Reverse Food Truck?

We don’t make food we take food. 1 in 5 people in Sacramento County is living in poverty–1 in 4 are children. Children living in poverty are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses, like diabetes, more likely to need to be hospitalized for their illnesses, less likely to finish high school, and less likely to be successful adults. Children living in poverty often experience food insecurity (not having enough food to eat or worrying that they may run out of food by the end of the month). Hungry children cannot learn in school and are more likely to continue the cycle of poverty if they cannot become successful adults. Hungry parents experience more stress, chronic illness, and mental health struggles. Hungry parents are also less able to be nurturing parents to our future generations. Our local food banks estimate that there is a deficit of 15,000lb of fresh produce each month for our community. That is about the weight of one food truck. This is where the Sacramento Reverse Food Truck comes in. Our truck strives to bridge this gap by receiving donations of fresh produce at local farmers’ market events or monetary donations at other events (festivals, food truck events, etc). How? We will bring our food truck to the local farmers’ market to collect donations. We will encourage market customers to buy extra from the farmers to donate. At the end of the market if farmers would like to donate any produce that they do not want to take back to their farms we will gladly accept. Our goal is to collect produce by encouraging market... read more

Where Will the Truck Be Next?

Jun 2017

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Put Hunger in the Rearview

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