Refuge, a homeless shelter, recently began operating a food truck that not only helps finance its services but also helps homeless people break the cycle of poverty.
Folks working inside the truck aren't just preparing quality foods. Some are shelter residents who are learning culinary skills to start over.
The local shelter and
nonprofit group makes 12,000 meals a month for the 200 homeless women and children who stay there.
Toni Williams works in the food truck and used to stay at City of Refuge.
"When I came here, you never expect for you to be in a shelter," she said. "Then once you get to that point, you're
down. ... You feel like you don't really count."
Williams recently moved into her own place.
"Once we get
out, get our courage, we get out into food truck and we get our real job. So we're almost back to where we know we can be. They give you a chance to start over. You get back out there, and it's time for you to do it for somebody else once you get there," said Williams.
"We call this
feel-good food," said Tony Johns, chief operating officer at City of Refuge. "They get to eat great food and feel good about what they're doing to help others."
The charity invested in the food
truck, which offers a menu inspired by local chef Ford Fry, a couple of months ago.
The food truck will be at Atlantic Station this weekend for the tennis tournament.
"We actually use real wood and a little mesquite charcoal wood," said Robert Owens, executive chef at City of Refuge.