Longmont Food Rescue hosts Saturday food truck festival fundraiser
Naomi Curland picks up food for the Longmont Food Rescue at the Round Pantry at Westview Presbyterian Church on Thursday. Longmont Food Rescue is hosting the Food Truck Cup event on Saturday to raise money for the nonprofit. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Four local food trucks are gearing up for a showdown Saturday, when they will go head to head to claim the Food Truck Cup. After sampling the smorgasbord, people can join in the feast to cast their vote for their favorite food truck.
The food truck festival is a fundraiser for Longmont Food Rescue. It will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. in the east parking lot of 350 Terry St. just outside the St. Vrain Cidery.
Participants in the food festivities will have a chance to sample from four different food trucks and cast their vote for their favorite. This year, reigning 2019 Food Truck Cup champion Nacho Mama’s Tacos returns. The authentic Mexican street food truck will face off against The Maine Event, a food truck serving New England-style dishes; Farm Eats Direct, which serves local farm fresh foods; and Hurry 4 Curry, which serves Indian and Nepalese takeout.
Complementing the dishes are beverages from St. Vrain Cidery, Abbott & Wallace Distillery, and Outworld Brewing. Live music will be performed by Blackjack Gravy and Shadow Side.
Naomi Curland, Longmont Food Rescue executive director, said she looks forward to the return of this year’s Food Truck Cup, which was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have our menu now completed,” Curland said. “It’s a little surprise when we get to hand out the menus to all the ticket holders at the event. I’ve had a sneak peek of the menu, and there are going to be some great dishes being served.”
The Food Truck Cup serves as Longmont Food Rescue’s annual fundraising event and helps to close out Longmont restaurant week, which kicked off Oct. 8 and runs through Sunday.
The nonprofit’s goal is to redistribute nutritious food that retailers would otherwise have to toss, such as perfectly good food that needs to make way for new products, near-expired foods, or excess food left over from the farmers market. People can also donate items from their garden if they have an overabundance of fruits and vegetables. The food is provided to low-income populations and people who are homeless.
“Being able to do a community event for fundraising is great for sustaining us throughout the year, but it’s also a chance to be out in the community and share what we do and do it around a food celebration, like restaurant week,” Curland said.
In a Longmont Food Rescue news release, Kelly Mahoney, nonprofit founder and board member, echoed this.
“One of our goals with this event is to feature newer trucks with diverse menus, to help share their unique cuisines with the community,” Mahoney said in the release. “It also provides our food trucks with an opportunity to participate in Restaurant Week.”
The coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in food need. Curland said the scope of the nonprofit’s services has grown in the past two years to keep up with this demand.
“We have been on a growth trajectory of 10,000 additional pounds of food reclaimed and distributed each year since our inception (in 2017),” Curland said. “This year, we have already surpassed that.”
More than 50,000 pounds of food was distributed through the summer and Curland expects about 20,000 more pounds to be distributed by the end of the year. To respond to the increased need, she said, the nonprofit has offered more public distributions and is adding recipient sites, where food donations go directly to where people are living.
The food trucks and beverage companies participating are donating their tasting menu items, so all ticket proceeds will benefit Longmont Food Rescue, Curland said.
People can buy general admission tickets for $10 and do pay-as-you-go tasting. Tasting menu tickets for the special Restaurant Week price of $28.71 are also available and include samples from each truck and three beverages. Tickets can be purchased online at bit.ly/3j1zwO7.
In an effort to contain the crowd size in wake of the ongoing pandemic, tickets are designated for either a 2 p.m. entry or 3 p.m. entry. People are also encouraged to wear masks when they’re not eating or drinking.
“We are very excited that it could happen this year in the fall,” Curland said. “I’m very much looking forward to (it). It’s going to be a beautiful day. We’re going to have beautiful weather for an outdoor festival.”
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