The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday January 20th

Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo comes to Chapel Hill this Sunday

Students buy food from Porblano's Tacos, one of the food trucks that will be participating in the food truck rodeo, on Nov. 17 in front of Wilson library.
Buy Photos Students buy food from Porblano's Tacos, one of the food trucks that will be participating in the food truck rodeo, on Nov. 17 in front of Wilson library.

Numerous food vendors will gather in Chapel Hill on Sunday for the Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo.

It will take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 1714 Legion Road. Over 12 food trucks will be present, as well as over 15 nonprofit associations.

While there is no cost of admission, attendees are encouraged to bring donation items for Table N.C., a nonprofit which aims to feed local children, and the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service.  Items patrons can donate include non-perishable food, scarves, gloves, hats, socks, sleeping bags, bath towels, washcloths, razors, deodorant and toothbrushes. 

Susan Brown, the executive director of Chapel Hill's Community Arts and Culture, said the event was inspired by the results of a community engagement project.

“We heard from people less about what types of things they want, and more about what impacts and outcomes they want those things to have,” Brown said. “So what we found, loud and clear, is that people like events that have a real community feel where diverse groups of people can get together and interact and hang out.”

She added that the event will feature diverse vendors and organizers are taking steps to make sure vendors' participation is as environmentally conscious as possible. 

“We curated the food trucks, and we put out priority calls to Black-owned and minority-owned trucks,” Brown said. “And we are also requiring all of the food trucks to have quiet generators which just makes a nicer event and we are requiring that they use compostable serving ware.”

Phil Fleischmann, the parks and recreation director for the Town of Chapel Hill, said the event will strive to bring people together for a good cause and for good food.

“We're hoping that folks will come out and support some local vendors and nonprofits at the event,” he said.

Fleischmann said that the food truck event featuring nonprofits seeking support is timely, with Thanksgiving coming up next week.

"I see this event as a great opportunity to bring those interests together to have a really positive impact," he said. "We're hoping that folks will come out and support some local vendors and nonprofits at the event.”

One of the trucks present will be The Corner Venezuelan Food. Maria Leon, the daughter of the truck's owner and an employee there, said being able to sell food in Chapel Hill has been a great opportunity for the business. 

“Ever since the beginning, the reason that we started the food truck was because my dad wanted to start a restaurant, but with the cost and everything it like it just wasn't feasible at the time,” Leon said. “So we just decided to hold off on the restaurant, and get a food truck instead. It's still a lot of work — but it's been really good for us."

She also said she enjoys being able to feed people in her community, and that the truck has enjoyed the exposure it has already been able to garner from parking on campus to serve students.

"This Chapel Hill gig that we've had is really good because there are like so many students, we like set the food truck outside of the library," she said. "And it’s been nice having so many new people come and try the food.”

Leon said customers should come out on Sunday and try the arepas and patacons at the upcoming rodeo, where she and numerous other vendors will engage with the community at large. 

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com 

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