By WILLIAM PAINE
At last Tuesday’s Marketplace event, the newly launched brightly colored bean and rice food truck drew a crowd, as members of the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce prepared for a ribbon cut. official. Lee Spiegel, executive director of Beans and Rice Inc., was loaned an oversized pair of scissors, while board members held part of the ribbon and waited for the signal.
Before the ribbon was cut, a few words were said in honor of the occasion.
“Thank you for joining us today as we celebrate the new mobile bean and rice food truck,” said Chamber of Commerce President Sheila Smith. “Special thanks to the market organizers for allowing us to celebrate this announcement here today. It made a lot of sense to make the announcement here, as some of the vendors will be providing some of the farm-fresh produce that will be available on the truck.
“Beans and Rice works with low to moderate income families and individuals to help raise them and take them to the next level and in doing so we uplift the whole community,” said Lee Spiegal. “Beans and Rice works in three different areas: food security, family stability and youth development. The truck is part of food security.
“It’s like a farmers market on wheels,” said Jack Watkins, director of the Beans and Rice program. “We’re going to be working with a lot of local farms and producers to sell things like meat, vegetables, fruit, as well as honey, grains… lots of cool stuff. I was fortunate enough to visit at this point probably a dozen farms from here to Floyd. They are all very excited.
Watkins will drive the new food truck two days a week and Beans and Rice is currently looking for another driver to drive two additional days a week.
“The idea is to fight against food insecurity by bringing food into the community and helping people who cannot afford to get there, as well as by accepting SNAP, EBT and WIC”, Watkins said. “We’ll also have a token system, so when they spend a dollar, we’ll match them with another dollar. The more people use the market, the more we will be able to give back.
That said, the ribbon was cut and the Bean and Rice Food Truck was correctly named. Food truck stop times and locations are still ongoing, but for now they expect to stop once a week at the Meadow View Apartments, Washington Square and the Dublin Lions Club. Other locations will be added depending on demand.