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Chapel Hill Arts & Culture to host Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo and service drive

DTH Photo Illustration. The Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo will be hosted by Chapel Hill Arts on Nov. 13. Local non-profit organizations such as PORCH will be collecting food items to support our community.

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture will be hosting its second annual Thanks + Giving Food Truck Rodeo on Nov. 13. 

To be located at 1714 Legion Road, the event will feature a variety of different food trucks and local non-profits. 

Melissa Bartoletta, marketing and communications coordinator for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, said the two nonprofits that will help run the service drive are the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service and PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro. 

“We’re asking attendees to come with an item for the service drive,” Bartoletta said. “PORCH will be there collecting drive food items and Interfaith Council for Social Service will also be one of the anchor nonprofits, collecting toiletry items.” 

Alison Bender, the special events coordinator for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, said there will be a total of about 20 nonprofit organizations and 10 food trucks present at the event.   

“We’re trying to make sure there is a range of cuisines,” Bartoletta said.

Bartoletta said that, so far, they are expecting trucks including Cilantro Mexican Cuisine, artisan donut truck Drizzle D’s, Caribbean food truck Mia’s Kitchen and the Thai-food-selling Drunkenfoodtruck at the event. 

She added that all of the food trucks will be using compostable serving ware because Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture is trying to reduce waste from their events.  

Every nonprofit organization present will be providing some kind of engaging activity for guests, according to Bartoletta. 

She said some confirmed nonprofits that will attend include Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, EMPOWERment, Inc., the Kramden Institute and Orange Literacy. 

Paws4ever will be doing pet adoptions and the switchback gear collective will be hosting a scavenger hunt. 

Laura Malinchock, the board chairperson for PORCH, said PORCH will be collecting food like low-sugar cereal, rice and pasta sauce — things she said they always need. 

“We like to put those in all of our Food for Families' bags and also send them out to the pantries,” she said. “Most months, we're running short on those items.”

She added they were happy to accept tuna, cans of fruit and vegetables, healthy snacks, pasta sauce, pasta, peanut butter, jelly and macaroni and cheese. 

Malinchock said there was a great turnout last year and that PORCH was able to share information on what it is and what it does with many community members there. 

“We have about 525 families enrolled in PORCH now,” she said. “And that's growing because the need is growing.” 

IFC will also be collecting food items, along with dental hygiene products, feminine hygiene products and toiletries, according to the Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture website. 

Bender said last year, there was a turnout of about 2,000 guests. All of the food trucks and nonprofits applied to be featured at the rodeo through the Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture website.

Along with the trucks and charities, WXYC 89.3 FM, UNC’s student radio station, will be live DJing at the event, according to Bartoletta. 

Bender said the Town is trying to figure out what to do with the land where the Rodeo takes place, as it is Town-owned property. 

“We decided we're just gonna have an event on the space,” she said. “It's a really, really nice space to have this Food Truck Rodeo.”

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Bender said there is plenty of free parking available, but people are still encouraged to bike, bus or walk. 


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