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Churches on the Streets Utilizes Food Truck to Feed the Homeless

Categories: Food Trucks

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Handing out Fortel's pizza at the food truck. | Churches on the Street

Last year, the health department shut down an organization that was giving out hot meals to homeless people. A lot has changed for Churches on the Streets since then. It has recieved nonprofit certification, is awaiting a health permit and is serving the hungry and homeless out of a food truck.

See also: Group Can't Serve Hot Food To Homeless Without Permit, Says STL Health Dept.

The change started with a front-page story in the Post-Dispatch. The story was picked up nationally, and organizer Angela Valdes got calls from big news organizations like the Huffington Post. The attention lead to an anonymous gift: Someone donated a 25-foot food truck.

Churches on the Streets meets every Monday night at 1400 North First Street and serves cold sandwiches to around 225 to 250 people, plus it hands out blankets and clothes. It doesn't have permission to serve hot food yet, but Valdes says they are close and the health department has been "really fantastic."

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The food truck just got its refrigerator and stove installed, plus a new logo and truck lettering. | Churches on the Streets

After the Post-Dispatch article, Churches on the Streets was approached by local pizzeria Fortel's about a partnership. Now, Fortel's donates and serves (hot!) pizza every other Monday at the 1400 North First Street location.

The program has been so successful that Churches on the Streets has expanded to Thursday nights; it takes pre-packaged cold meals (sandwiches, etc.) around Soldiers' Memorial.

"We're expanding outreach. Through the truck, we're able to mobilize in a greater way with more control," Valdes says. "[This month] we'll start going to parks where kids and families are out and about because there are other people that are hungry, too."

Churches on the Streets also does work with disaster relief -- it has been involved in helping Joplin residents since the devastating tornado -- as well as human trafficking. Valdes serves on the city's trafficking taskforce; the nonprofit is partnering with the St. Louis Rescue/Restore Coalition for a workshop this Thursday.

If you want to help, you can e-mail Valdes at churchesonthestreets@gmail.com or call the Churches on the Streets office at 618-251-0039. You can also follow its progress on its Facebook page.

"We are expanding our reach, which means our resources are growing. We're always looking for people and restaurants to donate," Valdes says. "It's so amazing to see how many people care about those that are hungry and on the streets."

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at nancy.stiles@riverfronttimes.com or follow her on Twitter.




My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
Jon Hiltz
Jon Hiltz

Maybe they are the answer to a prayer ....

Wayne Light
Wayne Light

Why don't they just pray to end hunger?????????

dalediversity
dalediversity topcommenter

Every freeloader in town will show up for this

TyroneJefferson
TyroneJefferson

This is going to make my life as wandering heroin addict so much more flavorful !

I cants wait for the RFT review on this food truck.....and I gonna win the RFT "Guess Where I'm Having This Peanut Butter n' Jelly Samich" competition  ;)


jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Soylent green, feed the homeless the homeless, two birds with one stone. Win win!

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

@dalediversity Including your mom, and she'll be gobbling all the tossed salad she can get her mouth around as usual

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