SPOKANE, Wash. — Serving food is what these businesses do but this summer they're serving in another way to make sure no child goes hungry.
During the summer, participating food trucks that are part of the Greater Spokane Food Truck Association are feeding students on free and reduced lunch who may not have access to a meal otherwise.
"If as a community we came together and we just offered our services as opposed to throwing money at issues, we'd be a lot better off, all of us would," said Mirak Kazanjian, owner of Skewers Food Truck.
Kazanjian and his association of food truck owners make authentic dishes made in the small space of a truck. He brings authentic Middle Eastern cuisine anywhere he can park four wheels.
"The shawarma, the idea is, it means turning so it's an upright rotisserie so the meat is turning and being roasted," he explained.
When he and fellow food truck owner Tony Epefanio learned about 500 homeless students in Spokane Valley alone, they knew they needed to step up and help.
"I had no idea there was even homeless students or kids that needed food like that, that are homeless," Epefanio said.
The business owners and the Greater Spokane Food Truck Association then mobilized other businesses to offer free meals to kids who normally rely on free and reduced lunch. They worked with Spokane Valley Partners to extend their food program over the summer to 58 students, who received a punch card they can use at many trucks around Spokane.
"When we're serving close to a thousand meals a week, helping a few hundred students along the way is not that big of a task really," Kazanjian said.
The program allows students to receive a fresh meal with no questions asked.
"All they do is bring it up to one of the food trucks you can see behind me and everyone should have displayed, it says, buy a meal, feed our youth," Epefanio explained.
Students get five meals a week and a bus pass from "Gives Back and Giving Back," so they can get to the trucks.
It's emotional for Epefanio every time he makes a plate.
"When you get people just to say 'thank you for talking to me,' that's pretty heavy. Where a human being is thankful that you're treating them like a human being," he said.
"So again it's very important for this program to help these kids and let them know that they're cared for and they're wanted and they're a part of the community and act like normal human beings and come up to a food truck and get a meal and be a part of the community," he continued.
All of the participating food trucks donate the meals.
If you would like to support the program by helping them expand next summer, contact Greater Spokane Food Truck Association online.