By Donald Eng | The Valley Gazette
As the food truck craze continues to build, a Derby-based non-profit agency is hoping to cash in with a gourmet fund-raiser, Food Trucks in the Valley, Sept. 18 at the Shelton Riverwalk.
Veronica Parsloe, marketing director of the Parent Child Resource Center, said she noticed the trend recently and thought, “Why not?”
“This all came together in the last two weeks,” Parsloe said. “There had been food truck events around the country, but really nothing around here for people to attend, and we thought this was a great chance to bring a unique event to the area and support our programs.”
The center is based in Derby and its programs provide support and mental health services to residents in Ansonia, Derby, Seymour and Shelton. According to the agency, one in five children in the United States has a diagnosable mental disorder and one in 10 has a serious emotional disturbance that can disrupt daily function at home, in school or in the community.
The Valley food truck event will run from 4 to 8 p.m. and feature more than 15 trucks, plus beer and wine, various ciders, live entertainment, professional face painting and more. Parsloe said admission is free and at least 10% of all the proceeds from the vendors will go to PCRC.
Despite having the event come together at the last minute, Parsloe said community response has been strong.
“I just started the social media outreach about two weeks ago, and it has really been met with a lot of enthusiasm,” she said. “Our Facebook page (Facebook.com/FoodTrucksintheValley) got 100 Likes just yesterday.”
And, despite the event being just three weeks away, Parsloe said she is continuing to add new events to make it a fun family time.
“We’re talking to people about having a mini car show, and we’re waiting for confirmation from a local brewery to have some specialty drinks.”
So far, the event’s Facebook page lists 13 confirmed vendors, including House of Bones BBQ, Szabo’s Seafood, Firedog, Pierogies on Wheels, 3 Chicks Grille, Wrap that Food, Caseus Grilled Cheese, Fryborg, Spuds Your Way, DiSorbo’s, New Haven Pizza Truck, Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes and an all-ages beverage table staffed by PCRC volunteers. Four more trucks serving fruit smoothies, falafel, kettle corn and Mexican food are also expected.
In addition there will be sports mascots, professional face painting, children’s activities, and New Haven radio station WPLR 99.1 will be broadcasting live from the event.
“This all started with an idea to have two or three trucks on the Riverwalk for a small family gathering, and then trucks started contacting us and it has kept growing ever since,” Parsloe said.