School may be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean the supply of nutritious lunches has to end!
In partnership with the Citiparks program, Pittsburgh Public Schools is promoting the GrubUp! campaign to feed lunch to children 18 and under. A food truck follows the roving art cart to various locations, and assembles a table to provide free cold lunch every Tuesday through Friday from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Kids have the option of PB&J or a Deli Sandwich, both accompanied by carrots, ranch dressing, fruit, and chocolate milk. Lunches are served in bags, making it a quick and easy option.
This year’s summer meal program experienced a makeover. The implementation of a promotional wrap around the trucks normally white body, resulted in a complete transformation. The new look makes a splash while driving around town, and stands out at every location. Giant, vibrant signage is hard to overlook, which raises awareness for the free meals and increases the chances that kids will participate.
In addition to the truck revamping, the overall experience and meal presentation has taken a turn for the better. Organizers glammed up the serving table with a fun tablecloth, artsy lunch labels, and colorful coolers. Staff are wearing bright t-shirts, and a large folding sign has been decorated to attract attention. If that isn’t enough to turn heads, at select times every kid who takes a lunch may also select a toy, such as sunglasses or a frisbee, donated by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Yesterday a bubble machine livened up the atmosphere, and decorative balloons are coming soon.
All of these efforts would not be possible without great employees. Dave Sharik, left, has been the food truck driver for two years. He has welcomed every crazy idea with open arms. Prior to the makeover, Dave would do anything he could to get kids involved. Whether that meant shouting in Market Square or creating his own signs to draw attention, Dave was committed to getting hungry children fed. Now, his dedication for community outreach drives his willingness to assemble the new set-up every day. He is a star employee, whose passion has made the process of creating an inviting environment possible!
The food truck runs June 14- August 4. Be sure to check out this great opportunity to get free lunch for anyone 18 and under, engage in arts and crafts, and explore Pittsburgh!
Post by Madison Santella, Nutrition Intern.