Local congregation raises over $90K for food truck serving hungry families
Now, this is cool — A faith-powered food truck will soon be hitting the streets of Rochester to serve meals for our neighbors in need.
To celebrate its 150th anniversary, the congregation at Zumbro Lutheran Church raised more than $90,000 to purchase the food truck. It will be used by Open Table, a mobile food ministry run primarily by volunteers from Zumbro and People of Hope Lutheran Church.
Since July 2015, Open Table has been preparing meals in Zumbro's kitchen and serving them every Thursday night in the Parkside and Oak Terrace mobile home neighborhoods in southeast Rochester. Volunteers typically give out more than 200 burritos each night.
"We knew that a food truck would allow us to expand the number of people we are able to serve, as well as increase the type of food we could cook and make it easier for us to prepare and serve," said Zumbro Pastor Lisa Kipp.
In addition to the mobile home neighborhoods, Open Table also hopes to station the truck at other apartment complexes in the area. The group does not charge anything for the meal and partners with Channel One Regional Food Bank to provide additional snacks, such as fruits, vegetables and yogurt.
"We don't expect anything in return," said Kipp. "We aren't doing this to search for new church members or to convert people to share the faith that we do. We serve people of a variety of religious backgrounds. We do what we do because of the love we have experienced from Jesus, and we hope to share that compassion with others through a warm meal."
Zumbro will celebrate its new addition at the end of the month (complete schedule below) by blessing the truck and praying for its mission. The public is welcome to stop by and learn more about the truck — and enjoy a burrito.
From there, it's Open Table's hope that other groups in the community will step up and help carry out its mission of serving those in need.
"Imagine what a difference this food truck could make if other organizations were able to take the food truck out on other nights of the week to other Rochester neighborhoods," said Kipp.
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Sunday, Oct. 30 (Zumbro)
8:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. - worship & food truck blessing
9:30-10 a.m. & 12-12:30 p.m. - breakfast burritos served from the truck
10-10:45 a.m. - stories about Open Table and purchasing the truck
Wednesday, Nov. 2 (Zumbro)
4:45-6 p.m. - burritos served from the truck
6 p.m. - worship & food truck blessing
Sunday, Nov. 6 (People of Hope)
12 p.m. - celebration of the food truck
(Cover photo courtesy Open Table Food Ministry)