The next Hope Mills Food Truck Rodeo is scheduled for Thursday evening, May 3, at the Town Hall parking lot.
But the food provided by the various truck vendors won’t be the focus of this gathering – it will be the food brought to the event by the patrons.
The town of Hope Mills is partnering with the ALMS HOUSE of Hope Mills to help collect food for the charity’s Kids Assistance Program.
KAP provides free food to children in the Hope Mills community who might not be able to eat over the weekend.
Delores Schiebe is executive director of the ALMS HOUSE and said KAP has been going on for about five years. ALMS HOUSE stands for Associated Local Ministries in Service Helping Others in Unfortunate Situations and Experiences.
“We currently are working with 10 schools in and around the Hope Mills area,’’ Schiebe said. She estimates that every weekend about 500 bags of food are being sent out to children in the community.
Social workers at each of the schools that are part of the program identify the children in need of the food, she said. The ALMS HOUSE has compiled a list of the specific items they need donated to include in the food bags. That list is in the graphic elsewhere on this page.
The items have been chosen for good reason, she said. “We need to have something that children can open and prepare for themselves if they are left alone and there is no one else to prepare the food for them,’’ she said. “We try to choose things that children like. Believe me, we have tried some things that have not worked for us.’’
One item that’s not taken to give to the children is peanut butter. “We cannot address all of the allergies, but that’s one of the major ones,’’ she said. “We make sure the milk is milk, shelf-stable milk, and our juice is juice, not sugar water. We want to have something the children will actually eat.’’
Schiebe said the ALMS HOUSE has been able to reach out to increase funding for the program.
“When people realize this is going to children who are not able to eat over the weekend, we get a lot of support,’’ she said. “We’ve received some grants, and we have local supporters and local businesses that work with us.’’
Events like the Food Truck Rodeo also help increase the profile, and if people can’t make the event this week, they’re welcome to drop by the ALMS HOUSE office at 3909 Ellison St. in the Hope Mills historic district.
The ALMS HOUSE is open Tuesday through Friday, but Schiebe said the best time to drop off donations of food or money is between 9 and 11 a.m
“We don’t turn down money because we have to go shopping when we don’t get everything,’’ she said.
For those who would like to mail monetary donations, the address is P.O. Box 65, Hope Mills, North Carolina, 28348.
To speak to someone about specific questions, the phone number is 910-425-0902. The website is www.almshousehopemills.com.