By Janet Jones Kendall | The State
A new food truck is heading to Columbia, but its goal isn’t just to serve great food. It wants to make life better for Midlands residents in need.
Sponsored by Senior Resources – the local nonprofit organization that coordinates and oversees the Meals on Wheels program – the Señor Resources food truck will specialize in authentic breakfast tacos and side dishes. All proceeds from the truck will benefit Meals on Wheels and other Senior Resources programming.
The idea for the truck came to Senior Resources executive director Pam Dukes after she attended a national Meals on Wheels conference and sat in on a session about social enterprise.
“I came up with a dozen or so ideas off the top of my head,” Dukes said. “I brought the concept and specific ideas back to my management team for discussion. The one idea that captured everyone’s attention and seemed to generate the most discussion was the food truck idea.”
So Dukes immediately started researching what it would take to purchase and run a food truck and began to believe that it might be a viable idea.
“The food truck industry is growing in Columbia, but we needed to find a niche for it to be successful,” Dukes said. “So, we started talking about what type of food is missing from food trucks in the Midlands. Our director of development is from Texas, and he lamented the fact that he has found no authentic Mexican breakfast tacos available in the Columbia area.”
Senior Resources communications coordinator Bridget Winston then came up with the clever name of Señor Resources and the entire plan came together – a true meals-on-wheels fundraiser for Meals on Wheels.
The group is currently finalizing the purchase of the truck and seeking a food truck manager and hopes to have the truck rolling by March 1, serving at special functions, food truck rodeos and whatever businesses want to host it. In addition to breakfast burritos, the food truck will serve other authentic Mexican dishes such as charro beans, street corn and sopapillas.
“The concept of social enterprises is not entirely new to Columbia … but as far as I know, we will be the only food truck that is a social enterprise with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting seniors in need,” Dukes said. “The needs of seniors in our community far outweigh resources available through traditional funding sources. We continue to maintain a waiting list for our services including Meals on Wheels and in-home care. And with the increasing number of seniors, the demand for our services will continue to increase.
“The revenue from Señor Resources will allow us to meet some of the demands that the future holds. We also believe the food truck will be an avenue to become more known in the area, and allow us to reach a new community of potential volunteers, donors and future clients.”