Affordable Food Truck Feeds Homeless

Dreams for Change food truck receives grant to serve low-cost meals

By Gitzel Puente
|  Monday, Jul 30, 2012  |  Updated 9:30 PM PDT
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Food Truck Serves Homeless

The Dreams for Change food truck travels in Downtown with its main location across the Neil Good Day Center on 16th Street and Imperial Avenue.

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Food Truck Serves Homeless

Teresa Smith, CEO of the downtown Homeless Food Truck talks to NBC 7 reporter Gitzel Puente about the low prices she offers to the transients of San Diego.
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With the recent popularity of food trucks, it's not surprising a local one is attracting customers.

But it's not your typical food truck -- it's the customers that make it different.

"The intention is to feed the homeless. We provide cheap, healthy, hot meals where they can use their CalFresh benefits," explained the Dreams for Change food truck's CEO Teresa Smith.

Smith is a non-profit student at the University of California San Diego.

She received the $10,000 grand prize in the Dell Social Innovation Challenge to help start the food truck.

"We are able to pick what we want, what we need and they cook it right off the truck. It's really good," shared customer Jackie Ojeda.

One can get a full meal under $4 with drinks costing as low as 25 cents.

Not only is the food affordable, but customers have the option to pay with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

"You know it was like a blessing to me because I got to use my EBT card," added Ojeda.

The EBT cards, previously known as food stamps, are not the only perk of this venture.

"Our goal is really to train homeless individuals and their workforce skills to go out and operate their own trucks," said Smith.

She encourages them to volunteer at the food truck and get hands-on experience so that they can become their own entrepreneurs someday.

The food truck travels in Downtown with its main location across the Neil Good Day Center on 16th Street and Imperial Avenue.

 

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