Fact: ATL's 30314 neighborhood—"the Bluff"—is the most underserved community in Georgia.
Fact: For the past 16 years, the people behind City of Refuge have been working their tails off to make life in the Bluff better and safer for its residents.
Fact: Doughnut sandwiches are universally delicious. Doughnut sandwiches that make ATL a better, safer place? Even delicious-er.
When one of ATL's noblest group of do-gooders teams up with one of ATL's greatest chefs, you know some magic's about to happen. And as far as we're concerned, anything that allows us to gorge on tacos and feel good about it definitely sounds magical. That's pretty much the premise behind People's Food Truck, the latest addition to the local food truck milieu: amazing food that helps one local nonprofit continue to do amazing work in the inner city. (See also: fried chicken on a doughnut.)
It was a match made in heaven: Ford Fry had been pondering the thought of a food truck, but was more interested in one that somehow helped the community beyond simply selling tasty street snacks. City of Refuge was looking for a way to support its continued mission of providing food, shelter and job training to the members of its challenged neighborhood. And we, Atlanta, had been just waiting for the day when we could chow down on a banh mi taco. Thus, the stars aligned, People's Food Truck was born… and our subconscious cravings for more Ford Fry goodness were slaked.
"Food has always been at the heart of what we do," says Tony Johns, City of Refuge's Chief Operating Officer. He explains that in addition to serving the community 12,000 to 18,000 meals a month, the group also provides culinary training and even job placement in local restaurants. Makes sense, then, that a food truck is the logical next step. Not only does People's provide two to three meals for individuals coming out of homelessness for every food truck meal purchased; it also employs some of those individuals in the truck's kitchen as part of the nonprofit's job training program.
Oh, and that whole "food" part of this nonprofit food truck? Well, let's just say Ford Fry's Midas touch is still going strong. The menu draws inspirations from the Mississippi Delta with items like hot tamales, po'boys and fried catfish tacos, but throws in a dash of Mexican flair to keep things interesting. Because, well, Chef Fry doesn't really speak "boring." They're also the only food truck in Atlanta with a wood-burning grill aboard… and probably also the only one that manages to serve a hunk of fried chicken betwixt two doughnuts that, thanks to that whole nonprofit thing, actually won't make you wallow in shame shortly after trying it.
You can catch People's at Atlantic Station a few nights a week. Keep up with its whereabouts on Facebook, and keep your eyes peeled on City of Refuge while you're at it—we hear whispers of yet more cool food-related projects on the horizon from these folks.