NEED MEETING & For some churches, food trucks are a vehicle for serving the poor

Allen Lutes, center, an associate minister at Arlington Heights United Methodist Church, and founder of its new ministry: Five & Two Food Truck, serves food with other volunteers. Photo courtesy of Arlington Heights United Methodist ChurchBy SARAH ANGLE

c. 2015 Religion News Service

FORT WORTH, Texas (RNS) Allen Lutes wipes his brow as he prepares another plate of food. The culinary school-trained chef is serving grilled chicken, fresh vegetables and rice pilaf.

But this isn’t a typical restaurant and Lutes isn’t a standard chef; he’s an associate minister at Arlington Heights United Methodist Church and founder of its new ministry, Five & Two Food Truck. It was named after the biblical story of five loaves and two fishesfeeding the multitudes.

The converted 1995 Chevy plumbing truck shines in the hot Texas sun as Lutes’ dinner guests trickle up to the window — meekly at first — guiding their children as they reach up to take a hot plate of food.

Twice a month, the food truck serves Presbyterian Night Shelter, a homeless shelter in Fort Worth. Tonight, it’s at the nonprofit’s shelter for women and children; the majority of the women here are victims of domestic violence.

Teresa, 42, and her 16-year-old daughter say “thank you” as they grab a plate and some bottled water and head inside the shelter to eat with the rest of the families and church volunteers who have come not only to serve but to share a meal with these families.

“It’s good,” said Teresa, as she takes a bite of chicken. “The last time we came here we had chicken fingers and they were really hard. But you know, you can’t complain, because it’s food.”

Faith-based food trucks are building momentum across the country. In St. Paul, Minn., Lutheran pastor Margaret Kelly’s church is actually a food truck, providing free food and prayers to homeless and impoverished members of the community…

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