Tags Posts tagged with "Charity"


Give Network Initiative

Join with fellow vendors in this historic & innovative initiative

You may have noticed that we have recently launched an updated theme at Mobile Cuisine in an effort to better serve our readers.  Just as the mobile food industry has grown over the last 4 years, we have too and are ready for new partnerships and promotional opportunities.

Today, we announce our partnership with the GiveNetwork (givenetwork.biz) to benefit two national organizations fighting hunger in America; Meals On Wheels Association of America (mowaa.org) and Convoy of Hope (convoyofhope.org).

The GiveNetwork is a collaboration between Global Impact (charity.org) and Give.mobi LLC.  The GiveNetwork Initiative involves retail and independent businesses (in this case, food trucks) in the hosting of unique trackable Quick Response Codes or QR Donation Portals for consumer access and engagement via smartphone or tablet.

GiveNetwork QR CodeThrough these portals, food trucks facilitate donations from their customers for the two selected charities.

The reasons we have decided to promote this initiative are because 1.) it benefits two great organizations, and 2.) it incorporates the use of mobile technology to facilitate those efforts.  Additionally, food trucks receive ongoing marketing opportunities when they sign up.  The purpose of this partnership is to unite the food truck community in philanthropy and engage their customers in a new and meaningful way.

It’s easy to sign up your truck for the program.
  1. Click on the GiveNetwork logo on the Mobile Cuisine homepage.  You will be taken to the registration site.
  2. You will be asked for some contact information and method of payment.  There is a discounted fee of $45 for a year of service.
  3. Automatically emailed tax exemption donation receipts will include your brand and a personalized “thank you” message from your truck to your donating customers.
  4. Your signage with your uniquely trackable QR Donation Portal will be sent to you immediately to post where visible to your customers.
  5. Marketing Opportunity:  At the close of each month, you will receive a list via email of donor contact information (names/emails) along with total of overall donations collected by your truck’s unique QR code.

Every month Mobile Cuisine will announce newly enrolled trucks, trucks with the most active donors, and the latest happenings of the two organizations that are benefiting from the donations.

We are excited to be the media partner for this creative way of facilitating mobile donations.  Many of you already give back to your community in your individual way by donating your time, food and services.  This initiative allows your customers to be part of the giving too.

Join the GiveNetwork Food Truck Initiative Now!

Finnegans reverse food truck

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Head to downtown Minneapolis or other Twin Cities locations during the summer, and you’re sure to find a food truck offering something you’re craving. Now the Minneapolis-based beer company Finnegans, which donates 100 percent of its profits to charity, is taking the food truck phenomenon and spinning it on its head.

Its new “reverse food truck” doesn’t make food. It takes food — for charity.

“We’ve never heard of anything like this before,” said Amy Lee, Finnegans’ marketing coordinator.

The truck sets up at locations around the Twin Cities to collect nonperishable food items and monetary donations via cash or credit cards. All donations go back to Finnegans’ community fund, which channels the food to local food shelves and use the monetary donations to buy fresh produce from local farms for the food shelves.

The idea was born in December during a meeting between Finnegans and one of the companies it works with on its charitable projects, the Minneapolis advertising agency Martin Williams. Within hours after the meeting, Finnegans CEO Jacquie Berglund had secured a truck. Three months later, over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, it was launched.

“It has taken a village to get this truck running,” Berglund said. Local businesses helped transform the 1980s vehicle into a flashy, noticeably bright green truck emblazoned with the Finnegans name.

While the reverse food truck has not yet been to many events, the plan is for it to park at summer events and festivals. Supporters can follow where the truck will be located on social media and at Finnegans’ website, Berglund said.

Find the entire article at startribune.com <here>

bridgeport rescue missionBRIDGEPORT, CT – On a good night, depending on how you interpret it, Donna Romano said the Bridgeport Rescue Mission delivers up to 300 meals to the less fortunate in Bridgeport and South Norwalk.

Romano, the spokeswoman for the mission, said the non-profit feeds souls and stomachs with assembly-line precision — and a smile– through the window of its food truck.

Or at least it did.

The food truck — the Bridgeport Rescue Mission calls it “mobile kitchen 1″ — served its last meal recently after yet another unforgiving winter night. Now officials are trying to raise $25,000 to replace the food truck that broke down for the last time.

But while the mission is making due with a cargo van, aluminum trays and portable tables, the need for a hot meal on some of the coldest, nastiest nights of the year isn’t going away.

The men and women with stories in their eyes feel it. Local families feel it, too.

“It kills my heart to see a 5-year-old girl come up to the truck and ask for five or six plates,” said Michael Pennypacker, a student in the New Life Discipleship Program at the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.

The biggest problem is setting up shop outside the cargo van in icy parking lots and snow-buried streets. It doesn’t take long for scores of hot meals to turn cold in February, despite the mission’s best intentions.

Find the entire article at ctpost.com <here>

dc-navy-yard-shootingWASHINGTON DC – At the final Truckeroo of the year this Friday, food trucks will be collecting donations and raising money for a Navy Yard shooting fund.

Ryan Kim, co-owner of the SUNdeVICH food truck and Shaw restaurant, said the idea for a fundraiser started out small, but turned into a plan to “make it a big event” by rolling it in to Truckeroo.

“All of us food truckers park there [at the Navy Yard] at some point in time,” he explained. “We know the people there, they’re good people.”

Che Ruddell-Tabisola, the co-owner of the BBQ Bus and political director for the Food Truck Association, added, “We know these guys on a first name basis. We know their sports team. We start their order when we see them in line.”

Kim, whose mother is a federal worker, has already raised hundreds of dollars for Navy Yard shooting victims. In the week after the shooting, Kim said for every sandwich the SUNdeVICH truck sold he donated a dollar to a Crowd It Forward project.

“It could have happened to my mother. It could have happened to any of my friends,” Kim said, saying he and his crew grew up in the area. “I feel like there’s a bad perception about trucks: That we come in from Virginia or Maryland, we take our money and leave. I don’t want that to be the case.”

“We want to be part of the community,” he added. “I love D.C. It’s home.”

Find the entire article by Sarah Anne Hughes at the dcist.com <here>

sacramento food trucks feed homeless
Photo by Randy Pench/ rpench@sacbee.com

SACRAMENTO, CA – David Frederick has been coming to Loaves & Fishes off and on since 2000. When Frederick arrived early Monday to the site of the Sacramento homeless shelter and advocacy organization, he hoped to be served a hot meal.

Meatloaf or chicken. Maybe even beef stew.

Instead, volunteers slowly called those seeking a meal, such as Frederick, to a back parking lot in groups. Here, an all-star lineup of area food trucks were parked in a formation encircling the asphalt: Krush Burgers, Drewski’s, Swabbie’s, Gameday Grill, BaconMania, Chando’s Tacos and Simply Southern Food.

Each of the seven gourmet food trucks had donated 100 meals. Starting at 11:30 a.m., roughly 650 homeless men, women and children who sought meals from Loaves & Fishes were able to choose which vendor’s food to have for lunch. They ate on fold-up tables as music played.

“It’s almost like being at the State Fair,” Frederick said, between bites of Krush Burgers’ smoked pork shoulder, served with fries and topped with whole-grain mustard slaw. “That’s kind of what this reminds me of.”

A coalition of independent parties worked to coordinate Monday’s surprise.

First, there was Sacramento City Councilman Darrell Fong, who said he was delivering water to Loaves & Fishes one day when he dreamed up the idea of a food truck event for the homeless community.

Fong arranged a meeting with Ernie Hernandez and Paul Somerhausen, who runs Sacto MoFo, which coordinates mobile food events in the Sacramento region. Hernandez and Somerhausen jumped on board after the meeting in Fong’s office roughly 11/2 months ago.

“We loved the idea right away,” Somerhausen said.

The two businessmen then started to secure commitments from local food trucks to prepare and serve meals at the event.

Somerhausen said this part of the job wasn’t difficult.

“The food trucks have been very grateful for the support of the community,” Somerhausen said. “Keep in mind: Two years ago, there weren’t any gourmet food trucks in Sacramento. They have come a long way in those two years, so this was an opportunity to return the generosity.”

Find the entire article by Kurt Chirbas at The Sacramento Bee <here>

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/10/5721983/homeless-treated-to-all-star-line.html#storylink=cpy


Even though we may not realize it, there are people we interact with every day who are not sure where they will find their next meal. They might be a co-worker, one of your child’s best friends, or an employee on your food truck. Each year, more than 36 million Americans, in communities across the country, are making difficult choices—seniors who are forced to choose between buying food or buying medicine; parents who might feed their children but not themselves; and working families who must make the difficult decision between paying their utilities or putting food on the table.Feeding America Logo

Non-perishable and unspoiled perishable food  from food trucks can be donated to local food banks, soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters. Local and national programs frequently offer free pick-up and provide reusable containers to donors. To encourage food donations, the “Good Samaritan” law was created to prevent to prevent good food from going to waste and to protect companies from liability surrounding their donations.

Food Banks and Food Rescue Programs

Food banks are community-based, professional organizations that collect food from a variety of sources and save the food in warehouses. The food bank then distributes the food to hungry families and individuals through a variety of emergency food assistance agencies, such as soup kitchens, youth or senior centers, shelters and pantries. Most food banks tend to collect less perishable foods such as canned goods because they can be stored for a longer time.

Food rescue programs take excess perishable and prepared food and distribute it to agencies and charities that serve hungry people such as soup kitchens, youth or senior centers, shelters and pantries. Many of these agencies visit the food bank each week to select fresh produce and packaged products for their meal programs or food pantries. Many also take direct donations from stores, restaurants, cafeterias, and individuals with surplus food to share.

Finding a Food Bank or Rescue Program in my Area

There are several organizations that can direct you to a local food bank or rescue program.

  • Feeding America  is a national network of food banks that is the largest charitable hunger relief organization in America. It oversees the distribution of surplus food and grocery products through nearly 200 network affiliate food banks and nearly 50,000 charitable agencies. Your nearest food bank can also tell you which food pantries and kitchens are in your neighborhood. Locate a food bank near you .
  • Food Pantries  allows you to search for food banks by state or by zip code.
  • AmpleHarvest.org – This nationwide effort aims to educate, encourage and enable gardeners with extra produce to easily donate to a local food pantry.
  • Rock and Wrap It Up!  is an independent anti-poverty think tank based in New York. It is non-profit and nonpartisan, an organization devoted to developing innovative greening solutions to the pressing issues of hunger and poverty in America. They cover over 500 cities and work with a national database of over 43,000 shelters and places of need.

You can also work directly with a local or regional agency or organization to get your surplus food to the needy. To find other programs in your area, check the government and community services pages of your local phone book or just enter “food donations” along with your town and state on your computer Internet browser.

Tax Benefits for Donating Food – Do Well by Doing Good

Food donations can add up to big savings for food truck operators. Not only will you reduce your waste disposal costs, but donations can also generate significant tax benefits for mobile businesses.

The information below should be used only as a guide. Food truck owners are advised to consult with their tax advisor in applying the appropriate deduction.

The general rule since 1969 states that a taxpayer who contributes appreciated inventory or certain other ordinary income property is permitted a charitable deduction for an amount equal to the taxpayer’s basis in the contributed property (not its fair market value).

Congress further refined the statute to allow corporate donors an increased deduction, under certain circumstances, for contributions of ordinary income property to a public charity or to a private operating foundation.

The 1976 Tax Reform Act (Section 2135) made inventory donation to charities more advantageous for business taxpayers by increasing the allowable income tax deduction and allowing the donor to determine the “fair market value” of their donation, not to exceed two times the cost.

The bottom line:

A: The sum of one-half of the unrealized appreciation (market value minus cost = appreciation) plus the taxpayer’s cost, but
B: Not in excess of twice the cost of the contributed property.

Protection From Liability

Gifts to food banks are covered by a number of liability protections, including national Good Samaritan laws. The “Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act” (PDF) (Public Law 104-210) makes it easier for mobile food businesses to donate to food banks and food rescue programs. It protects donors from liability when donating to nonprofit organizations and protects donors from civil and criminal liability should the product donated in good faith later cause harm to the needy recipient.

The law also sets a liability floor of “gross negligence”; or intentional misconduct for persons who donate grocery products. It recognizes that the provision of food close to recommended date of sale is, in and of itself, not grounds for finding gross negligence. For example, cereal can be donated if it is marked close to code date for retail sale.

Food banks also protect their donors by offering a variety of liability protections, including strict standards of warehouse operation, proper storage and handling procedures, complete product tracking and recall capabilities, and accurate and timely receipting.


Food Trucks Hungry Kids

Remember those summer afternoons when you would hear the tinkling of ice cream truck music and you would rush to grab your money and run out to get a tasty treat? Now, people are getting all sorts of food from food trucks. With pop culture catching on with shows like “The Great Food Truck Race” hosted by Tyler Florence, food trucks have become cool, hip places to grab a bite to eat.

However, there are 22 million kids in this country that can’t afford to eat — at a food truck or elsewhere — and who are in danger of going hungry this summer.

It’s not that low-income kids don’t have access to free meals in the summer; they do. In the summer, free meals are served to kids just like they are during the school year — in school cafeterias during summer camps or summer school programs. There is a stigma associated with showing up to the school to collect free meals, though, and so many students don’t take advantage of these programs over the summer. In some places, the gas prices are so high and families are so in need that they don’t have the money to drive to the school to get the meals, so kids go hungry.

In New Haven, Connecticut, Tim Cipriano, executive director of school food services for the city, is trying out a new plan. He is using food trucks to bring meals to hungry kids, and he’s hoping that bringing the meals to them will not only increase access to food, but will also reduce the stigma associated with receiving free meals. Even better, the program dictates that all kids under the age of 18- – low-income or not — can get the meals from the food trucks, so this method of distribution is quickly becoming a cool place for kids from all walks of life to come and get a good meal.

Last August, Cipriano piloted the program, and this year he is planning on serving more than 40,000 meals between July and August. Currently, he’s providing bagged lunches consisting of a sandwich, a piece of fruit and milk, but he hopes to be able to serve more in the way of hot meals or a salad bar once he gets the equipment he needs.

Similar programs are popping up all over the nation. In Indiana, for example, the Fayette County food service director, Siobahn Carey, read about Cipriano’s food trucks and was able to implement the program in her rural are where summer food distribution programs are so woefully under attended that sites often have to shut down due to lack of participation.

In a nation where so many children are going hungry, it is vitally important that we continue to find solutions that work in our communities. Delivering food to students over the summer by way of food trucks is just one example of the superb innovation in our country, but we shouldn’t stop there. Programs exist to help kids get food even when they are not in school, and we need to be doing our part to make sure families are taking advantage of these programs and getting the nutrition they need.

Find the original article by Ashley Lauren at care2.com <here>

If your food truck has garnered a lot of public and press discussion in your area, there is a good chance you will be called upon to contribute to charitable organizations by donating gift certificates for meals and/or being part of special charity events. Instead of hiding behind your voicemail system or tapped out budgets, consider it a compliment… and treat it like a necessary and integral part of your marketing program. Rather than limiting the amount of gratis work and donations you can afford, consider participating in a way that allows you to make both a donation and a profit. Then prepare a flyer with all of the details, and when someone calls or comes by your truck, have it on hand. Be sure to include:

Amount of donation

Be up front about your costs and profits. This will eliminate many unreasonable requests. Promote the fact that you will donate 20% of the proceeds from the meal or reception to the charity or beneficiary. It’s classier than a discount.

Types of events 

Pick one or two types of fundraisers that are appropriate for your mobile food operation, and then market yourself as THE truck to have at all events of this type in your community. Whether it’s a food truck ralley, sit-down dinner for fifty, passed hors d’oeuvres for 100 guests or a coffee clutch with desserts, you’ll have an idea what works best with your operational set-up, available staffing, etc.

Price point

Give fund raisers some menu guidelines and options. Your chicken, pasta or vegetarian menu selections may have a significantly lower food cost than your lamb, rib eye, and salmon selections. The same goes for your appetizers and desserts. You might also want to have some special menu items available for large groups or events such as these that ensure you have a sufficient profit margin.

Times of availability

Try to schedule events during your off-peak times. This will allow you to be part of these events, while still making it out to your regular stops.

Gift certificates 

The gift certificate is the most commonly requested donation, so make it count. We recommend gift certificates that will generate business and a profit for you AND provide a value to the fundraiser. How about a free desert with the purchase of an entrée?

All promotions like these make you money. Consider them part of your marketing expenditures. And be proactive. The sooner you define the guidelines and options, the sooner you’ll be the toast of the town with a reputation as a food truck business with a huge heart!


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