A Woolwine Food Truck works to fulfill its mission of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” by providing those in need with free, easily accessible food.
Pastor David Gaylor, of Ross Harbour United Methodist and Woolwine United Methodist churches, said the project originally started as a food pantry at Woolwine.
“It used to be open one day a month. There just wasn’t a lot of turnout and people knowing about it and coming to the church for it. So, we had the opportunity to get this trailer and decided to start taking food out into the community,” he said.
Gaylor said the churches have been offering food free to everyone for about a year-and-a-half.
“No forms, no questions asked. We just ask the people to take what they need and leave some for somebody else. That’s about it,” he said.
One reason the food truck exists is because getting help through public assistance is sometimes challenging, Gaylor said.
“Like there’s a lot to do, a lot of forms to fill out and whatever. Here (at the food truck), it might not be somebody that’s homeless. It might be somebody that’s out of money before they’re out of month, and they need a few groceries,” he said.
The truck parks at the Woolwine Volunteer Fire Department on the first Friday of every month from 3-5 p.m., and at the Fairystone Volunteer Fire Department every third Friday, from 3-5 p.m.
“We have mixed in Howell’s Furniture Store and DeHart Park on Route 40 as other sites we’ve gone to at some point,” said Gaylor, adding he believes the Fairystone event is more popular with people, possible because “it is closer to the end of the month and the need is more.”
Gaylor said the group either receives donated food or purchases food with donated money. It provides foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“For breakfast for example, we always have pancake mix and syrup, we always have cereal and milk, and we usually have oatmeal,” he said.
For lunch meals, Gaylor said there are foods like Ramen soups, tuna, canned chicken, peanut butter and jelly, bread, and saltines. Dinner options include canned vegetables, canned fruit, rice, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, and other selections.
“We give away block cheese, sliced cheese, hot dogs, bologna, milk, bread, eggs. It’s hard to be but so healthy” given the available options, he said, chuckling.
But, because several people have gardens, he said fresh produce is offered as the group receives donations.
Occasionally, pet food, primarily for dogs and cats, also is available.
Gaylor estimated between 20 and 25 families are getting food every couple of weeks.
“We built up to a point, and then last winter when it got cold, it kind of drew back. Now, we’re building it back up again,” he said.
While the truck primarily only offers food at the two locations, Gaylor said the group assembles food boxes when there’s a need.
To donate to the food truck through Woolwine Church, call church at (276) 930-2148 or email Gaylor at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule donation drop off times.