“Trucks-giving” event brings 14 food trucks to Long Beach to feed the homeless


Kristen Naeem |Signal Tribune

Both homeless and housed community members ate together at a Truck-giving event on Thursday, Nov. 21, which brought 14 food trucks to 14th Street Park in Long Beach.

Fourteen food trucks from across Los Angeles County gathered at 14th Street Park in Long Beach to distribute food and raise money for the homeless.

The event, “Trucks-giving”, was organized by Peruvian food truck owner Karla Flores. Flores’ truck, Mikhuna, served a meal of roast chicken, mashed potatoes, chips and hot chocolate to those with meal tickets.

“She had the idea of giving away food to the needy during the holidays,” Isaac Romero, Executive Administrator for Mayor Robert Garcia, told the Signal Tribune regarding Flores. “She has a food truck. So she’s out on the streets, and has seen a lot of people that are on the streets suffering, that could use a meal. So she decided to talk to other food trucks, other businesses, and it just happened.”

Depending on the day, the Mikhuna food truck can be found in different locations around Long Beach, San Pedro and Los Angeles. The business announces its daily location to customers through its social media platforms.

During the planning of the event, Flores had help from the 1st District Council Office and the local progressive group Our Revolution Long Beach. Habitat for Humanity assisted with renting all the chairs, tables and portable toilets for the event.

For Trucks-giving, numerous tables were set out on the grass and the 14 food trucks flanked the park on both sides. A DJ table was also arranged to provide music for the event.

Along with homeless community members, other residents gathered with friends and family at 14th Street Park to buy food from the different trucks.

Meal tickets were distributed for free to the homeless and were also available for purchase for $7, with all proceeds going towards the Mayor’s Fund to End Homelessness. Each meal ticket entitled the holder to two dishes from food trucks of their choice.

Garcia was present at the event to thank the participating food trucks and engage with the community.

“Every single person here, who is here with us, is part of our community,” Garcia said. “Everybody has value. We all matter, no matter our circumstance or what’s going on in our lives. […] Just know that as the holiday season comes up we’re going to try to do more and more to support you, and especially providing services and events like this.”

The fourteen food trucks varied in the types of cuisine they offered. The food truck Thai-Mex Cocina served Thai-Mexican fusion dishes such as horchata with boba in it.

The pretzel truck, Auntie Anne’s, and the Hawaiian food truck, Aloha Fridays, were also among the trucks serving the homeless at the Trucks-giving event.

According to Aloha Fridays, its food truck served 220 people during Trucks-giving.

“I believe we receive a lot with our business,” Aloha Fridays told the Signal Tribune via Instagram. “We’ve been blessed to have what we have (our business) and it’s unfair to not give back from what we receive.”

The food trucks that participated in this year’s Trucks-giving were highly motivated to give back to the community without asking anything in return, and the City hopes to continue the tradition next holiday season, according to Romero.

Some of the food trucks that participated this year are already willing to return for a Trucks-giving event in 2020.

“We’ve done it other years in churches, or when we’re invited to do so,” Aloha Fridays said. “Of course we’d do it next year, as long as we’re invited we will do it.”