Meals on Wheels’ third annual food truck rodeo will be held tonight at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. The participating food trucks include MaMa Dukes, Humble Pig, Only Burger, Sweet Traditions, Sympathy for the Deli and Time-Out Restaurant.
Ten percent of all the food sales will go toward supporting Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels.
“It’s a fun activity,” said Stacey Yusko, director of Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels. “It’s more for raising community awareness.”
The rodeo will include an iPad raffle, live music and children’s games.
“We do a lot of other fundraising events, but the food truck rodeo is a fun thing to do in the fall,” Yusko said.
Participants in the Meals on Wheels program are identified through referrals by family members, relatives, doctors and social services. There is also an online client referral form.
The nonprofit currently serves 158 individuals around Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
“Most of them don’t live with family, and usually they are elderly,” Yusko said. “We also help some who are disabled or ill and have no strength to cook.”
Each meal costs around $5, but the recipient is only required to pay what he or she can afford.
“Most of our people cannot pay for it,” Yusko said.
Yusko said that on average, Meals on Wheels recipients are only able to pay $1.35 for each meal. On every weekday, the nonprofit delivers lunch prepared by K&W Cafeterias.
Yusko said the goal of today’s rodeo is to raise $5,000.
Meals on Wheels has been operating for 38 years in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area. According to the Meals on Wheels Association of America website, there are about 5,000 local food distribution programs for senior citizens in the country.
Yusko started volunteering with Meals on Wheels in Oklahoma when she was in sixth grade. She then moved to Chapel Hill and, five years ago, became the director for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro program.
This is the third food truck rodeo her branch has organized.
Michael Alexakis, owner of the MaMa Dukes food truck, has participated in this event for the last three years.
“It’s a fun thing to do, and we have a lot of friends over there, too,” Alexakis said. “We help out whenever we can.”
Jill Austin, a Chapel Hill resident, is also no stranger to the nonprofit.
“I’ve done a couple of things for them, and my little girl’s preschool is at the same building they are in,” Austin said.
She said she isn’t able to attend today’s rodeo due to a conflict in her schedule, but she thinks it is a great fundraising activity.
“It’s nice because the purpose of Meals on Wheels is to feed people,” she said.
“So using the symbol of food where people gather together is a way to share your mission and what you’re about.”