Apr 24, 2014
Kim Rivers

New NeighborImpact food truck to benefit many


The NeighborImpact Food Bank team is excited to welcome a brand-new truck to its fleet. The agency currently has two trucks that are used to pick up food from local grocery store donors. The third truck will expand the Food Bank’s ability to better serve the entire region.

“This new purchase gives us greater flexibility to collect food and will help us increase our deliveries in the rural areas outside of Bend and Redmond,” said Steve Murray associate director of community services.

Most of the food pantries that distribute food to families come to the regional food distribution center at the NeighborImpact headquarters in Redmond to pick up food.

The new refrigerated truck, which was purchased from Robberson Ford in Bend, will allow NeighborImpact to make additional trips. Along with the truck, a forklift was also purchased to help make work at the Food Bank more efficient.

The NeighborImpact Food Bank Program is the regional affiliate of the Oregon Food Bank and distributes over 2.6 million pounds of food to 40 local agencies in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties. Over 19,000 individuals are helped at emergency food sites every month during the year.

The new truck and forklift were made possible by a successful fundraising campaign by NeighborImpact’s development office. The following businesses and foundations contributed:

Collins Foundation                                                      $25,000

Maybelle Clarke Macdonald Fund                                         $25,000  

Oregon Food Bank                                                                 $20,000

NeighborImpact Food Bank funds                                         $11,000

Bank of America                                                                     $10,000

Les Schwab                                                                            $  5,000

Roundhouse Foundation                                                         $  5,000

Bank of the Cascades                                                                        $  2,500

Total                                                                                       $103,500

About NeighborImpact:  Since 1985, NeighborImpact has been a leader in developing solutions and bringing resources to Crook, Jefferson and Deschutes County.  The agency offers a diversity of services meeting basic human needs for food and shelter, while enriching people’s lives by providing access to increased education, skills, and hope for the future. NeighborImpact is a private nonprofit organization that receives federal, state and local funding; foundation grants; and donations from individuals and businesses in our community. To learn more about NeighborImpact please visit www.neighborimpact.org.        

NeighborImpact is a 21 Cares for Kids partner

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Apr 24, 2014
Terri Judson

Bigger than ever, Okanagan Spring Wine Festival gets creative

“The air is fragrant and the valley is green,” enthuses Blair Baldwin, general manager of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, on the line from Kelowna. In fact, he notes, when the first Okanagan Spring Wine Festival was introduced in 1994, it was almost named the Bud Break Wine Festival in celebration of the end of the vineyards’ dormant period and the rebirth of the grapes.

Fast forward 20 years, when the festival still celebrates spring but in a much bigger way. Back then, it was a daylong event with 16 participating wineries. This year, the festival spans 10 days and involves 119 wineries; it kicks off next Thursday (May 1) and runs until May 11. Significantly, the events aren’t just about tasting wine.

“Twenty years ago, many wineries thought an event was, ‘Well, we’re open,’ ” Blair says with a laugh. He acknowledges that the Okanagan is seen as a summer destination, but he maintains that the shoulder season is a great time to visit because it’s not only a beautiful time of year but quieter. That means less expensive hotel rates, more opportunity for interaction with the winemakers, and easier access to festival tickets than during the busier fall wine festival.

“The wineries work very hard at creating innovative events,” he says, explaining that they do so to attract visitors.

The festival’s website lists more than 70 events from which to choose. The signature wine events include the Best of Varietal Wine Awards on May 1 and the WestJet Wine Tastings on May 2 and 3. Many wineries will be premiering their new-release white wines.

For those who want to do more than sip and spit, other events have built-in culinary components. For example, Covert Farms will host an outdoor pig roast on May 3 with entertainment and the latest releases from the Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country wineries. Later that day, Hillside Estate will host an oyster roast spotlighting Pinot Gris for its Pinot and Pearls reception.

Another variation is combining wine with more activity than merely lifting a glass to your lips. On May 10, there will be a free afternoon lawn party with live music at Kraze Legz Vineyard and Winery; guests are invited to bring a picnic, kick off their shoes, and learn the Charleston. That same day, Cedar Creek Estate Winery will host a light hike and progressive picnic along the trail that winds through its vineyards.

According to Baldwin, spring is when many wineries in the area release their white wines. This year, it also marks the opening of several new wineries and tasting rooms.

Near Oliver, these include Culmina Family Estate Winery, TIME Estate Winery (which is founded by Okanagan icon Harry McWatters), and Kismet Estate Winery. Privato Vineyard Winery will debut in Kamloops. And Kelowna’s Sandhill wines, which has been offering its tastings at Calona Vineyards, is slated to open its own tasting room over the latter half of the festival.

To peruse the events, see thewinefestivals.com/.

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Apr 24, 2014
Kim Rivers

Sprout food truck offers free fruits, vegetables – Sarasota Herald

Enter the Sprout Mobile Market, a food truck that makes stops across Sarasota County, offering assorted fruits and vegetables free to low-income residents.

“I remember when this was just in the talking phase,” Kekahuna said as she waited in line Wednesday next to the truck parked on Orange Avenue to order food. “Now, it’s a hit. We try to tell all of our neighbors about Sprout.”

During a 12-week pilot program, Sprout volunteers distributed 55,000 pounds of food to 4,713 families, including 2,900 children.

The effort was so successful that the Sprout Mobile Market is expanding to an 11-stop, countywide service.

Laura Coyle, a spokeswoman for All Faiths Food Bank, said low-income families often rely on processed, unhealthful foods because they are cheaper and easier to stretch across multiple meals. Such foods are a main factor in obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, particularly among children.

Coyle said introducing fresh fruits and vegetables to the pantries of low-income families will not only help with the households’ health, but will also teach children the value of healthy eating.

“This is where people need to know that they and their kids can get food, especially during the summer months,” Coyle said. “The big issue now is getting the word out.”

Ryan Beaman, who manages the Sprout program, often sees lines of 60 to 70 people when he pulls the truck into a distribution area. At his two stops in North Port, more than 100 residents crowd the truck each time he parks.

“A few sites had lines twice as long as they were a week before,” Beaman said. “We served 125 people at St. Nathaniel’s (Episcopal Church in North Port) in an hour and a half.”

The pilot program helped volunteers refine their distribution methods. At first, residents entered the truck to pick our produce, an inefficient system.

Now, residents can order up to four types of fruits or vegetables from a display board and hand a volunteer a ticket with their order written on it. The volunteer then hands the ticket to another volunteer on the bus who collects the items requested, puts them into a bag and hands it off to the customer out the back of the truck.

And it is all done in as few as 30 seconds.

This week, Beaman began to take the truck to new locations along the expanded route. He was joined by several volunteers from the Sarasota Hyatt Regency, including executive chef Kory Foltz, who demonstrated how to make a shaken chopped salad.

On Wednesday, the first stop was the Sarasota House of Hope just east of the Hob Nob Drive-In Restaurant.

Beaman was not surprised when no crowds were eagerly awaiting the vehicle’s arrival. He said it takes time for neighbors to hear about the project through word of mouth.

Several passers-by shuffled up to the truck, unsure of what sort of foods would be inside.

Vallerie Bates, who lives on a fixed income of $531 a month, said she was accustomed to food pantry projects handing out canned vegetables, which she cannot eat due to her diabetes.

She was shocked when she saw that the truck only contained fresh fruits and vegetables.

“This gives us a chance to eat better,” Bates said as she collected her bag filled with salad, sweet potatoes, avocados and lettuce. “I just hope people find out about it and use it, because people now just like to open cans of vegetables.”

Bates took a stack of fliers with Sprout’s stop schedule to distribute to others who live in her apartment complex.

A few hours later, just up the road at The Courts public housing development off of Orange Avenue, more than 70 people lined up to get food from Sprout.

Bree Cokley and Kekahuna, who both work at Children First, said they have been coming to the Sprout’s stops since the truck first rolled into the parking lot near their work nearly 14 weeks ago.

Cokley said before Sprout, she would try to buy cheaper foods or foods available in bulk to try to cut down on her grocery bill and make the food last.

Now, she says she has tried vegetables and fruits she had never previously encountered.

“They have a lot of vegetables that I had never tried,” Cokley said. “Like avocados. I never had one before I saw it here. Now it’s one of my favorite foods.”

Some of those who came Wednesday grew emotional as they picked up fresh fruits and vegetables.

As a volunteer handed a man a bag full of food out the back of the truck, the man looked inside the pouch, closed his

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Apr 24, 2014
Terri Judson

Central Florida features craft beer, wine festivals

For winos and beer-a-philes, there are several festivals coming up in the Central Florida area to taste a everything from a pint to a pinot noire.

Enjoying alcoholic beverages is hardly an unprecedented occurrence for college students. Though settings often range from bars to house parties, a variety of events specifically catered to beer and wine lovers can provide an alternative.

“Obviously with today’s college-party culture, it seems like the main goal is to go out and get drunk,” said Logan Bell, a senior criminal justice major. “It’s a completely different vibe at these types of beer and wine festivals and a nice change of pace from the college-party lifestyle.”

Bell has previously attended the Lake Mary Craft Beer Fest and the Great Orlando Craft Beer Festival, and said he hopes to attend more of these events.

“I would definitely love to see more beer and wine festivals around the Central Florida area,” Bell said. “It’s always a great time to get a group together and go out to one of these events.”

If you’ve been on the hunt for an upcoming festival, Winestock 2014 will be held on April 25 as it returns for its fourth annual celebration of premium wine, beer, food and music. The event will take place at Cranes Roost Park in Uptown Altamonte from 7 p.m to 10 p.m. Advanced tickets will be $30 and $40 the day of, and they will include live entertainment from Blender and Swain Sumner Band.

Winestock will be followed by two other wine and beer festivals both held on April 26, Lake Mary Pour and Maifest: Oktoberfest in the Spring. Lake Mary Pour will take place at Colonial Town Park from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for $30, while Maifest will be held at the German American Society of Central Florida from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. at no cost except for a suggested $5 donation.

Nick Resciniti, a senior health sciences major, said he expects to attend at least two of this type of festival and is drawn to them due to the atmosphere he has experienced at them in the past.

“Walking around while eating great food and having a good beer is relaxing,” he said. “I am a huge beer guy. Combine that with my love of cooking, and it makes these events very appealing.”

More than relaxing, Resciniti said it is exhilarating.

“Tasting beer is an adventure to me,” he said. “It could be a great beer or the worst beer I have ever had, but the fact that I’m out there trying them makes it fun. You never know what you’re going to get till you try it.”

Halee Sommer, an art history senior, shares a similar appreciation for the exciting nature of beer-tasting events, as well as for the artistic aspect of the process. As an art history student, Sommer said she recognizes and relates to brewers’ passion.

“The brewers are always such passionate people who truly have a love of beer that goes beyond getting drunk,” Sommer said. “This is their art, and that is one reason why I got so drawn into appreciating crafts beers, because in a way creating craft beers seems to give the brewer a similar sense of satisfaction as I, or any artist does, when a work of art is created.”

In celebration of that spirit of adventure and virtuosity, American Craft Beer Week, a nationwide festivity, will be kicking off May 8 and will continue through May 12.

Orlando Brewing will be celebrating with different events throughout the week, including an art show and trivia night.

“We always celebrate American Craft Beer Week, but the events vary from year to year,” said Crystal Harrison, taproom manager. “We always try to highlight our beers, and one of the main ways to do that is to pair them with different foods.”

The Cheese and Beer Pairing event will take place on May 13 at 7 p.m. for $20, and the Charcuterie Beer Pairing event is slated for May 15 at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for $25.

Orlando Brewing will also host a Liquid Education night on May 14 during which guests will be informed through demonstration about different beer aromas, tints, tastes, ingredients and brewery processes. The event, inspired by president John Cheek’s purpose of “educating the public one pint at a time,” will cost $15.

Harrison said she looks forward to the opportunity to increase appreciation for craft beer through these events, though she said that she has already observed an increase in past years.

“I have seen the growth personally, especially when we lease new beers,” said Harrison, who has been with Orlando Brewing for 7 1/2 years. “The amount of people that show up for that particular event shows me that people are watching and want to be here to support us and know what is next.”

A community of beer and wine lovers has encouraged other event managers, including Anthony Dinova, to appeal to their customer’s palates. Dinova is currently planning Winter Park’s annual Derby on Park. This year, guests will receive complimentary bottles of either South African Merlot or Central Coast Chardonnay.

“We think the thing that is most appealing is we are investing back into our customers,” Dinova said. “We definitely see that there are avid wine lovers, and, after several events, we have found, through in-person feedback, that there needs to be more wine. We insisted that private-labeled bottles of wine was the right decision for this year’s Derby on Park.”

The event will be on May 3 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Winter Park Country Club. Tickets are $50 prior to the event and $100 the day of.


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Apr 24, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food Truck Alert! They’ll Be Rolling in Soon on Thursdays

The food truck revolution that has rolled into cities nationwide
is making its way to Central Contra Costa County.

Lunchtime food trucks are coming to both Walnut Creek and Pleasant
Hill starting May 1.

Off the Grid, a popular company that groups, promotes and manages
street food vendors into marketplaces, will bring about nine food trucks to
Trelany Road behind Pleasant Hill City Hall every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9

The Taste of the World Market will debut in a central square
between the Contra Costa Centre Transit Village and the Pleasant Hill BART
in Walnut Creek each Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the next
year, according to market organizer Javid Ebrahimi.

Ebrahimi’s food truck, Grab Go Kebob, will join about five other
food trucks serving a wide range of cuisine and a juice bar.

Customers at the new food truck market will be able to choose
between a variety of different food including barbecue, Asian fusion dishes,
Filipino, Hawaiian and Persian cuisine.
A portion of the proceeds from the market will go to Fedu, a
crowd-funding organization that raises funds to build schools and create
educational opportunities in other countries.

“We’re trying to give people a cultural experience through food,”
Ebrahimi said.
Depending on how the food market fares, he and his fellow food
truck owners hope to host another market at the transit center an additional
day each week.

The Walnut Creek native, whose family owns the Copper Skillet
in Martinez, said he’s looking forward to having a food truck
closer to home, rather than having to drive to Oakland or San Francisco.

“I thought, ‘All the big cities are doing it, why can’t we do
it?’” he said.

Ebrahimi credited Martinez’s city leaders for welcoming the Food
Truck Mafia’s “Street Eats” market earlier this year, which he believes
helped pave the way for food truck markets in Concord, Walnut Creek and
Pleasant Hill.

– Bay City News

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Apr 24, 2014
Kim Rivers

City Council to vote on food truck program tonight

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Updated: 04/23/2014 10:34 PM
Created: 04/23/2014 6:01 PM WHEC.com

By: Lynette Adams

Food truck vendors have been in a battle with city leaders and tonight, some new changes were put into place.

The Rochester City Council gave unanimous approval to extend its food truck pilot programs.

Food truck vendors will be able to operate until 2:00 a.m., and the city has now expanded the areas where these trucks can operate.  For the past year, food trucks have been only allowed at five downtown locations across the entire city. There are 13 food trucks jockeying for these spots.

Now food trucks will be allowed in six new locations including Elm Street, East Avenue, Bragdon Place, Court Street, Gibbs Street and Cascade Drive. 

One food truck owner came out to speak on behalf of the vendors. Arthur Rothfuss says it is disappointing that after several meetings and weeks of haggling to expand the program that most of the city is still off limits for food trucks.

“It’s great that we’re having more opportunity to vend, but we need to do something about the issue of vending on commercial, private property and the rest of the city. Right now the permitting process for the city, outside of the center of the city, is untenable as it stands, and we just keep getting put off time and time again,” said Rothfuss.

“I guess I’m a little saddened that the food truck operators, who have gotten about 98%of what they requested, are still not happy,” said City Council member Carolee Conklin.

Food vendors may be happy to know another part of this ordinance still in the works will give food trucks the opportunity to get permits up to 60 times a year to set up at schools, bars, restaurants, offices and on government property with the permission of the property owners. That piece, however, has to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

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Apr 24, 2014
Kim Rivers

From street to shining sea: Village Voice launches their annual Food Truck Fest

Springtime in New York City means many things to many people. To those New Yorkers at The Village Voice, it means food – and lots of it.

Coming off of their highly successful Choice Eats – a tasting event that has been likened by some to the ComicCon of food – Village Voice is rolling out Choice Streets for the third year in a row as a perfect kick off to a long-overdue spring. The event, held on New York City’s iconic Intrepid at Pier 86, gives attendees the chance to sample succulent tasters from about 20 (yes, 20!) of New York’s favorite food trucks. From Australian savory pies to pizza, BBQ, Korean tacos, shrimp rolls, and ice cream sandwiches variety is key says Event Director Rosemary Jorda. “We try to mix it up” between old favorites and new comers to the NYC food truck scene, letting attendees vote on their food truck favorite so as to ensure that truck a spot at the following year’s event.

The voice of the people is actually what got this event started in the first place. “We wanted to do something for guests while they waited in line [at Choice Eats],” Jorda explained, “so we invited food trucks as welcome. Folks went nuts!” The following year, Choice Eats welcomed a new sister event, aptly titled Choice Streets.

Tickets are still available, but they’re definitely going fast. VIP tickets are sold out but street eats are just as mouth-watering with a General Admission ticket. Included in your ticket: samples from every food truck, unlimited drinks (Jorda clued us in to something called a “boozy slushy”), and free reign over The Intrepid – sort of. Guests can board the ship, see the museum, and walk around the flight deck on top, included in their ticket.

Come hungry and with a charged cell phone battery – there are definitely some #foodie pictures in your social media future.

Looking to share your pictures with others in attendance? Just use #choicestreets! 

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Apr 24, 2014
Kim Rivers

Photo gallery: 10 food truck selections in Tulsa you have to try

The Dog House Chong Dog

The Dog House Chong Dog

The Dog House Chong Dog: This dog brings a variety of intense flavors wrapped around a tender, juicy sausage. The cream cheese, peanut butter, sriracha and pickle combo was fantastic. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

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Apr 23, 2014
Kim Rivers

BBQ food truck in danger of being shut down by township


A Lehigh County community is rallying behind a popular barbecue joint that’s at risk of closing up shop for good.

People travel from all over to get a taste of Tex’s Smokin’ Bar-B-Q in North Whitehall Township.

The owner now fears his entire livelihood could go up in smoke over a zoning issue. His customers are worried, too.

“It needs to stay,” said Cindy Moyer, a customer.

“I don’t want to see him leave,” said Dennis Rothrock, who lives across the street from the food truck.

Tex Wells, a Texas native, brought his smoked, slow-cooked BBQ to the Lehigh Valley six years ago.

“When you go by, a lot of people leave their windows open to let it in because it smells so good,” said Cindy Moyer, a customer.   

But that smoke has him in a bit of a pickle right now.

“The complaint is that our smoke has become a nuisance on 309,” Wells said.

“There’s smoke in the intersection, in neighboring businesses and homes.  That’s really what set this whole thing off,” said Jeff Bartlett, North Whitehall zoning officer.   

Wells said he typically starts the smoker Wednesday night and turns it off Sunday afternoon. He said it does not run constantly.

One of his smokers cooks 1,100 pounds of meat at a time.

Neighbor Dennis Rothrock doesn’t see a problem.

“I’ve lived here 25 years. I’ve never had a problem with smoke coming from over there,” Rothrock said.

North Whitehall Township said it’s a zoning issue.

The property nestled between Route 309 and Shankweiler Road is zoned planned commercial and the township doesn’t have food truck zones.

According to the township, Wells could continue operating at the current location with special exception zoning approval. 

“If he wants to continue operating as a food truck type vendor, he would need a special exception. A special exception is granted for an individual property. So if it’s denied for this location but he finds another location that’s, let’s say zoned commercial, and he wants to set up at that location… he would have to go through a special exception for that property,” Bartlett said.

But there are guidelines for that special exception zoning approvals.

“You have to deal with traffic, with noise, odor, pollution fires, is it detrimental to the community?” Bartlett said.

Bartlett said Wells could also consider moving to another property or opening up in a store front as a restaurant. Another option would be an amendment to the township’s zoning.

Wells moved his truck to the location two years ago. He operated his truck from another property in the township before that.

Wells said he doesn’t know what he’ll do if the township tells him to pack up and leave from his current location.

That prompted an outcry on Facebook. Loyal customers are begging Wells to keep the food coming.

“It’s very sad. The chances of us being able to overcome this don’t seem to be in our favor,” Wells said.

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Apr 23, 2014
Kim Rivers

Dayton food truck operator selling equipment

Fressa Truck

Fressa Truck, easily recognized by its bright orange truck, and remembered for its gourmet comfort food, has closed permanently, said owner Matt Halpin.

Olivia Barrow
Senior Reporter- Dayton Business Journal


One of Dayton’s most popular food trucks is closing, and the owner is selling the truck.

Fressa Truck, easily recognized by its bright orange truck, and remembered for its gourmet comfort food, has closed permanently, said owner Matt Halpin.

Halpin said he is moving on to other ventures for personal reasons, and is looking to sell the truck and all its equipment.

“Dayton and the Miami Valley are a great place to operate a food truck,” he said.

He said he will still keep the brand and the name to potentially reopen in the future, but he has no definite plans for reopening right now.

Food trucks and street food are trends that have become well established parts of many cities’ urban revitalization movements. But the food truck movement has had trouble getting traction in the city of Dayton because of disagreements food truck operators and enthusiasts had with city officials and other existing businesses about where and when food trucks should be allowed to set up.

Through the warm months, several food trucks set up on Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton during lunch hours. Last year, food truck rallies drew more than 10,000 visitors to downtown, but those events, which were coordinated by Synergy Incubators while it had a temporary space downtown, will not likely continue since the group is no longer downtown and is looking for space. Several of the most popular trucks in town have begun gathering at Yankee Car Wash in Washington Township for a Street Food Rally. The first was held April 4.

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