Food Truck Fest Raises Money for Eugene Mission
Funds to be used to rebuild kitchen destroyed by fire
EUGENE, OR – The Eugene Food Truck Festival sponsored by SELCO Community Credit Union raised nearly $45,000 in four hours for the Eugene Mission during its inaugural run Saturday June 18 in the Valley River Center parking lot.
“We are so blessed that so many people came out to support the Eugene Mission and its work to help our homeless neighbors to get back on track to wellness,” said Jack Tripp, Eugene Mission’s Executive Director. “On behalf of all of us at the Eugene Mission, we want to thank the more than 13,000 people who attended Saturday’s event, our sponsors, volunteers, the media and most importantly, the stars of the event, the 28 food trucks that served some of the most delicious food found anywhere.”
Food trucks donated 10% of their revenue from the event – which totaled around $7,000. Many event attendees magnanimously donated money, with one $10,000 check landing in the donation bin. Comcast employees and Lane Professional firefighters each donated $1,000, and the Eugene Mission sold t-shirts that all added up to more than $45,000 in cash donations and merchandise sales.
“The community really turned out to support the Mission and came ready to eat amazing food,” Tripp said. “We are so fortunate to be the recipient of so many people’s prayers and encouragement.”
Also during the event, two awards were presented to the food trucks serving the most-tasty food as judged by three University Oregon football players and by food truck festival attendees. The UO football player judges, Alex Ofodile, Juwaan Williams, and Jimmie Swain, named Kun Fusion as their favorite food truck after a tasting competition. Lani Moku won the People’s Choice award in a close ballot. Lani Moku donated the $250 prize money from SELCO back to the Eugene Mission.
“Planning for the Eugene Food Truck Festival began in January,” Tripp said. “Publicity from the Mission’s kitchen fire two days before the event really raised awareness about the Mission’s work in the community to provide food, shelter and wellness to our homeless brothers and sisters.”
The Eugene Mission estimates it still needs to raise approximately $175,000 to pay for the rebuilding costs not covered by its insurance from the early morning fire that totally destroyed the kitchen and dining hall last week. Investigators have determined the fire to be an accident stemming from combustible grease rags.
“We are so thankful no one was hurt in the fire and that all safety systems worked as planned,” Tripp said. “The Eugene-Springfield Fire Department responded immediately and quickly put out the fire while treating our team and guests with great care.”
In the meantime, the Mission continues to serve 750 meals per day from a mobile kitchen and temporary dining room as well as sleep 400 people per night.
“There has been an outpouring of amazing and openhanded support from all corners of our community, and we are so thankful for everyone’s generosity and concern for our guests,” Tripp said. “The reality is that we are still in need of cash, food, and commercial kitchen equipment so we can continue to perform our massive food service effort while our kitchen is restored over the next three to four months.”
For people who want to support the Eugene Mission throughout its kitchen renovation, here is a list of needed items:
- Catered meals, bulk lasagnas, pizzas, gramma’s casserole
- Canned meats
- Hamburger patties
- Hot dogs
- Canned fruit
- Frozen hash browns
- Cottage cheese
- Biscuit cans/frozen biscuits.
- Cup-o-noodles/Top Ramen
- Large canned soups
- Cooking Oil
- Sugar packets
- Coffee cups
- Paper plates
- Water bottles
- Commercial dining tables (cafeteria style)
- Large coffee brewer (100 cups+)
- Large drink dispensers
- Large trash cans
Items should be delivered from 8 am to 5 pm to the Eugene Mission at 1542 W. 1st Ave, Eugene, OR. 97402. Cash donations may be delivered to the Mission or may be made online at www.eugenemission.org. To arrange to bring a catered meal or to volunteer at the Eugene Mission, please contact Tabitha Eck, Community Engagement Manager, at Volunteer@EugeneMission.org or 541.344.3251 x 160
As for the Food Truck Festival: “Even with all that we have going on at the Mission, we will start preliminary planning for the second annual Eugene Food Truck Festival in the next few weeks. We will be better prepared next year for the huge crowds and plan to secure more food trucks and vendors.” Tripp said. “We want the Eugene Food Truck Festival to be the community’s kick-off to summer each year. What better way to do it than to gather some of the most creative and delicious food trucks at one convenient location for the community to enjoy, while providing wellness to those in need.”