How Food Truck Party VBS took our VBS to the Next Level of Community Outreach!

by Mimi Sanders

Our church, Tucker Methodist was a test site for the upcoming Cokesbury VBS for summer 2022. When I learned that the new Cokesbury theme for VBS 2022 was a “Food Truck Party” my mind started turning! What would it look like to host an actual Food Truck Party for our families? We have never hosted a food truck at our church but I had seen them used at other events. Several items we had to consider.

  • How does the process work? 
  • How much would it cost?
  • Which trucks are good?
  • How many food trucks would it take to serve the number of people we needed?

I pulled out my computer and started asking the questions on various social media pages. In my search I learned a lot about food trucks and found an inspiring way to spread the Love of Jesus! 

 

I also learned that a sister church in our area, Dacula United Methodist Church, has a Food Truck they used for ministry!  WHAT? OK, now the wheels really started to spin!  I contacted the church and was put in touch with one of the operators.  She told me that the food truck ministry started in 2017.  With the help of the North Georgia Conference, the church purchased a second-hand truck used for linen deliveries and converted it into a food truck.  The truck was named “Truck 316”, which has dual meaning. First, from John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life”, and second based on Georgia Highway 316, the main road near Dacula, that connects Athens to Atlanta, and where the truck does the majority of its work.  The purpose - to share the Love of Christ by serving those who are hungry, wherever they may be.

The food truck is staffed by volunteers and used in many ways, such as providing “for hire” events, like ours, along with “free” events for those in need. With the proceeds from the for-hire events (for example, churches, festivals and neighborhood gatherings) they are able to take the food truck to schools, hospitals, battered women’s shelters, and many other locations where they give away meals for free. 

While planning our event, we heard about some families needing financial assistance through another non-profit called Nothing But The Truth Ministries. 

Was there a way we would work together?  Suddenly our event took on a new meaning. It was not simply an ordinary food truck adventure, but an event that empowered people to use the skills thier God-given skills to help provide critical financial assistance.  Truck 316 provided the truck and the driver, NBTT purchased the supplies, and the families needing assistance cooked and served the food – authentic Mexican tacos, rice and salsa!  The proceeds from our event were given to the families that worked the truck.  This process provided more than a financial hand out, but also a hand-up by helping them develop relationships, build work skills and provide references for future endeavors.  This food truck takes “feeding my sheep” seriously, sharing the love of God through yummy food! 

 

Our event was strictly a fellowship time for the families to come together and build relationships through music, games and table talk.  By partnering with Truck 316 we were also able to implement a mission focus and provide for families in need.   

Even on a hot Atlanta Friday evening in June, we had a big crowd come out for the Food Truck Party. We sang VBS songs, played games, and fed all who came. It was a wonderful experience! The teens and other volunteers served everyone, so nobody had to stand in long lines. 

 

Our Food Truck Party Vacation Bible School grew from a fun week of sharing the love of Christ with children in our community, to a multi-level Ministry event that involved our church, volunteers from a sister church, volunteers from a community non-profit, community members that needed assistance, families that were hungry and craved fellowship and a mighty GOD that provides all our needs!

God is great! 

God is good! 

Let us thank God for our food.

By God’s hands we all are fed. 

Give us LORD our daily bread.

“Give us this day our daily bread.”  Matthew 6:11

 

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