Raleigh, NC -- The Spinning Plate – Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s state-of-the-art mobile kitchen – is hitting the road! Powered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) and the Food Lion Charitable Foundation, The Spinning Plate serves up warm, wholesome meals directly to communities facing hunger across central North Carolina.
Founded on the principle of partnership, this new Food Shuttle initiative will go directly to the point of need by engaging with food pantries, organizations, local businesses, and schools serving communities at greatest risk of hunger. The Spinning Plate will be out and about at outreach events throughout the Food Shuttle’s seven-county service area – Wake, Durham, Orange, Nash, Edgecombe, Chatham, and Johnston counties – serving both urban and rural communities and dishing up deliciously crafted, kid-friendly recipes for anyone in need of a meal.
Due to COVID-19, Feeding America now projects the overall food insecurity rate for North Carolina will increase from 14% to 17.6%. Worse still – the food insecurity rate of North Carolina children specifically will increase from 16.2% to 26.2% (October 2020). Under these alarming conditions, the launch of The Spinning Plate is more critical than ever, as Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and its partners attend to the staggering level of immediate need.
In test mode since January 2021, The Spinning Plate has already served over 2,000 meals as the staff tests out its serving capacity. The response so far to the food truck reveals positive feedback from both organizations and patrons – with many requests for return deliveries. At a recent distribution at Families Moving Forward in Durham, Volunteer Engagement Associate VISTA, Imani Vincent, reported back, “Everyone who received a meal enjoyed it and asked if the food truck would come more frequently. I believe the biggest impact came with letting guests have the option to decide what they would like to eat that day.” Aiden and Emily, a brother and sister pair, enjoyed a meal from The Spinning Plate – while Aiden munched on his barbecue chicken, he exclaimed with a smile, “It was yummy!”
Every dish served off the truck is developed by Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Culinary Team with nutrition in mind. From homestyle chili over rice, tasty spaghetti with roasted vegetables and beef meatballs, hearty meatball subs and yummy grilled cheese sandwiches – the menu will focus on nutrient-dense, fresh ingredients including fruits and vegetables incorporated from the Food Shuttle Farm in Raleigh, NC.
“The people we serve need us to remain steadfast in our mission to be innovative, and consistently provide transformative solutions to the hunger they are experiencing,” said Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s President and CEO, L. Ron Pringle. “Hunger is unacceptable, and we are grateful for our partners – Food Lion and Blue Cross NC -- for answering the call.”
The launch of The Spinning Plate is made possible through a $100,000 Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation Innovation and Impact Grant funded in 2020 and through a $100,000 investment from Blue Cross NC in response to community needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Improving food security for all North Carolinians is a long-term commitment for Blue Cross NC,” said Cheryl Parquet, director of community engagement and marketing activation at Blue Cross NC. “Hunger and health go hand-in-hand, and we are proud to support The Spinning Plate’s targeted efforts to make nutritious food more accessible in high-need communities and encourage healthy eating.”
“The Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation proudly partners with Food Lion Feeds to fund programs across our footprint supporting our hunger-relief mission,” said Adam Bass, president of the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation. “We are proud to support innovative ideas like Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s mobile kitchen because it allows us to bring healthy food to nourish hungry neighbors in central North Carolina.”
Beyond providing meals, The Spinning Plate is a training environment for participants in the Food Shuttle’s Culinary Apprenticeship Program (CAP) – which begins a new cohort of students in spring 2021. CAP empowers underemployed and unemployed individuals with a full array of today’s in-demand, hands-on entrepreneurial training with the food service industry – including a specific focus on food trucking.
Additionally, The Spinning Plate is designed to serve in a disaster response capacity in the event of a hurricane or other disaster. The Spinning Plate can and will travel throughout the state of North Carolina and beyond to provide hot, nutritious meals to first responders, volunteers, and those facing natural or man-made crisis circumstances. This innovative new program will serve as a unique delivery system for providing Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s transformative hunger solutions directly at the point of need.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is committed to making health care better, simpler and more affordable. We have been driving better health in North Carolina for generations, working to tackle our communities’ greatest health challenges. We serve our customers and communities of more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1.1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at www.bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
About The Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation
The Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C. Established in 2001, the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation provides financial support for programs and organizations dedicated to eliminating hunger. The charitable foundation has provided more than $12 million in grant funding helping to nourish communities with fresh food for backpack programs, Kids Café's, and other hunger-relief programs as well as funding for long-term programs to help shorten the lines at food banks. The charitable foundation partners with Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief agency, in addition to local food agencies serving the 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states in which Food Lion operates. For more information, visit www.foodlion.com/in-our-community.
About Food Lion
Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 77,000 associates. By leveraging its longstanding heritage of low prices and convenient locations, Food Lion is working to own the easiest full shop grocery experience in the Southeast, anchored by a strong commitment to affordability, freshness, and the communities it serves. Through Food Lion Feeds, the company has donated more than 750 million meals to individuals and families since 2014, and has committed to donate 1 billion more meals by 2025. Food Lion is a company of Ahold Delhaize USA, the U.S. division of Zaandam-based Ahold Delhaize. For more information, visit www.foodlion.com or job applicants may visit www.foodlion.com/careers.
About Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle pioneers innovative, transformative solutions designed to end hunger in the community. From Hunger Prevention Programming, Community Health Education and Food Recovery and Distribution, to Catering and Culinary Job Training, Urban Gardening and a 14-acre Farm, the Food Shuttle goes directly to the point of need to empower people and lift the burden of hunger. We feed, teach, and grow to create a healthy and hunger-free North Carolina. www.foodshuttle.org