TCSS approves food truck purchase

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, March 24, 2021

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During last week’s meeting, the Troup County School Board approved the purchase of a food truck using a grant and CARES funding.

The 18-foot food truck, a 2020 Ford F59, will be purchased from Vending Trucks for a total $165,855. Vending trucks was the winning bidder out of four bids reviewed. The truck will be paid for by an $80,000 No Kids Hungry grant and $85,555 in CARES funding.

Chip Medders, assistant superintendent of operations, said the idea for a food truck started last spring when school shut down. TCSS quickly scrambled to ensure students would still receive meals during the shutdown and gave out thousands of meals each day.

However, despite having numerous spots to pick up meals, the school system realizes that some students were probably missed. A food truck would help alleviate that problem.

“Undoubtedly, we probably had some kids who probably got missed. We did our absolute best, so the purpose of the truck is to provide meals in those rural areas, and especially our virtual kids, who right now don’t have access to a meal,” Medders said.

Medders said the truck will support TCSS’ summer meal program, but will also be used for field days or if there was a water main break or another issue that would normally shut down a lunchroom.

He said food trucks typically help meal counts go up as well.

“We’ve used a food truck in ways in the past to see if it would raise meal counts and historically any time we’ve used a food truck, we’ve seen meal counts for breakfast go up,” Medders said.

No CDL is required to drive the food truck, and Medders said that no additional staff is expected to be hired for the truck. Instead, the current nutrition staff will be in charge of the truck and its operation.

It’s estimated that it will be about 12 weeks before the truck is delivered.