MIDDLETOWN — After the Louella Thompson Dream Center was severely damaged on Christmas night when the sprinkler system water main broke, the Feed the Hungry Project was unable to serve the less fortunate in the community.
While the center found temporary locations for the Senior Citizens Silver Sneaker and the after-school programs, there was no place to prepare and serve breakfast and dinner to 2,000 residents every month. Feed the Hungry is a non-profit organization that continues the vision of Louella Thompson to provide a soup kitchen since 1987.
“There’s always a way,” said Deborah Patterson, executive director of the Dream Center.
Patterson and Joya Wells, administrative director of the program, located a refurbished SaraLee’s food truck for sale in Indiana and purchased it for $75,000, Wells said. The truck is being funded through proceeds from the All-Black Attire MLK Gala and donations, Wells said.
The truck is equipped with a freezer, refrigerator, grill, deep fryers and sinks, she said.
The group will hold a ribbon-cutting at noon Friday to celebrate the opening of the food truck that will be parked outside the Dream Center, 834 Yankee Road. When it’s not being used there, it will travel to local neighborhoods to serve the less fortunate who may have been unable to get to the center, Wells said.
“God works in mysterious ways,” said Wells, who added the food truck should be operational by Monday.
Patterson said the food truck will allow them to “hit the street with good hot eats.”
Wells said the Dream Center, which was completed destroyed during the water main break, may reopen at the end of the year or early in 2024.
Besides the ribbon cutting, the center will host its Community Day for the Camp Dream Summer Program for the youth. The event runs from noon to 5 p.m. Friday and will include the distribution of free cell phones, free food, free clothing and medical screenings.
The free summer program will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 5-Aug. 4 at Smith Park.
HOW TO GO
WHAT: Food truck ribbon-cutting
WHEN: Noon Friday
WHERE: Dream Center, 834 Yankee Road, Middletown.
WHAT: Community Day
WHEN: Noon to 5 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Dream Center, 834 Yankee Road, Middletown
WHAT’S HAPPENING: Sign-ups for summer program and distribution of clothing, food and medical screenings