FLORENCE – Florence City Schools recently announced the acquisition of a custom-built concession truck it calls The Falcon Feeder and a dream purchase of the FCS Child Nutrition Program.
As the COVID-19 pandemic set in during March of 2020, Florence City Schools employees and volunteers stepped up to serve than 60,000 meals to children in northwest Alabama through the Feeding the Falcons initiative in two months.
As successful as the program was, FCS Child Nutrition
Program Coordinator Tara Talmage was still afraid that many children were going hungry due to a lack of personal transportation.
It was at that moment Talmage began to explore avenues to reach more students and families in need.
During her research, Talmage discovered the No Kid Hungry organization. No Kid Hungry is a national campaign run by Share Our Strength. The nonprofit works to solve problems of hunger and poverty with ending childhood hunger as its primary focus.
With the blessing of Superintendent, Dr. Jimmy Shaw, Florence City Schools applied for a monetary grant from the No Kid Hungry program assists school systems significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that participate in the USDA Feeding Programs.
The goal is to reach the children who may not have a way to receive nutritious meals. FCS was awarded a $100,00 grant to be used for a food delivery truck. With the approval and support of the Florence Board of Education, The Falcon Feeder was birthed.
After researching and developing the specifications needed for The Falcon Feeder, the project went out for bid. The winning bid was awarded to Concession Nation for almost $130,000, a Florida-based company specializing in custom-built food trucks.
The layout of the 18-foot cabin utilizes every inch for food holding, transportation, and distribution.
The Falcon Feeder contains commercial-grade coolers, warmers, and a freezer. The truck is powered by an onboard 12kW diesel generator.
The Falcon Feeder gives FCS the flexibility to reach our students wherever they are. Summer delivery routes are being planned across the city of Florence. The paths will give children direct access to the
truck to receive meals. These will be very similar to a traditional bus route with stops at specific places and times.
The Falcon Feeder’s uses are not limited to the summer feeding program and school closures. FCS plans to use it to meet other needs within the school system and community. Optional uses could include showcasing the Florence High School Culinary Department at area festivals and athletic events.
Additionally, the food truck may serve the community during natural disasters.
Florence City Schools is very thankful to the No Kid Hungry organization. We would also like to recognize the Florence Board of Education and our community for making this possible. FCS is very fortunate to have received a vehicle like The Falcon Feeder and we will make sure the community benefits through our service.