Friday, February 14, 2014

Help me fund the LocalFoodDude Food Truck!

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Building snowmen and snow-forts; throwing snowballs and sledding...on an empty belly these fun winter activities are IMPOSSIBLE. Snow cancellations mean hungry kids lose access to nutritious foods when they need it the most.

I'm interested in building a network of 4-wheel drive food trucks to combat childhood hunger on snow days and using the same network of trucks to feds kids on the weekends and during the summer.

Here's the deal. I'm looking for funding to purchase a food truck outfitted with a full kitchen to feed kids summer meals, where they live, learn and play BUT, I can’t do this without financial support.

The federal summer meal program will cover fuel, food & labor costs for the summer food program locations. On the weekends and in the times when the truck is not operating during the summer food program, the truck would be used to cater parties and be used as a food truck at fairs and the like to raise awareness and money to continue and grow the vision.  

During non-serving hours the truck will be used to teach low income families culinary training through Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters program.

This is a vision based on the successful "Free Meals Here" Food Truck model I created in New Haven, CT but with a full kitchen to serve all kinds of great healthy food. The truck will specialize in locally grown products when in season.

Feeding kids is my passion. Help me make this plan a reality with the long term goal of creating a sustainable program to end childhood hunger in America.

The first location to feed hungry kids lunch for free during the summer & winter will start in Waterbury, CT. The food truck will then roam throughout Western CT and Eastern NY State for caterings and fairs.

The truck will be lime green and orange and be very 'flashy' to attract attention and to be a roving billboard. The Tag Line is "Be a Vocal Local, Buy Locally Grown."

Marketing Strategy
We plan to focus on four outreach strategies:

Local Media: I have received a considerable amount of local and national media attention as well as appearing on Food Network's CHOPPED.
Social Media: I already have over 1600 'Friends" on Facebook and over 2,500 Twitter followers. I will post regular updates with a location finder and offer compelling content, including trivia contests with prizes of free food.

Local Offices/Word of Mouth: We will provide area offices with vouchers good for one free lunch to introduce them to the food truck. In addition my network consists of hundreds of people who appreciate good, locally-grown food and who are eager to try the new food truck. 

Financial Plan
We anticipate start-up expenses of $120,000 (kitchen equipment, furnishing, truck, etc.). Funding for the Free Summer Meals Program portion will be paid through the USDA Summer Meals Program.
In year one we expect to generate over $75,000 in sales, $100,000 in sales by the end of year two, and net profits of over 3.5% on sales by the end of year three. First profitability will be reached by our second year in operation.

Chef Timothy Cipriano is the Local Food Dude and Director of Dining Services for Chartwells School Dining at Farmington Public Schools. Chef Tim is a pioneer in setting up Farm to School and School Garden programs in school districts throughout CT.

In November 2012 Chef Tim was a contestant on Food Network's CHOPPED. Chef did not win but made an impressive stint, getting chopped at the conclusion of the entree round.

In March 2010, Chef Tim was one of ten chefs handpicked by the White House to meet with Chef Sam Kass, Executive Director of First Lady Michele Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign, and the USDA at the White House to coordinate a program, Chefs Move to Schools.

Because of Chef Tim's dedication to feeding America's children real food and for his part in coordinating the Chefs Move to Schools Program, President Obama named Chef Tim a Champion of Change in April 2011.

As Chair of Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation New Haven, Chef Tim volunteers countless hours ensuring that no kid goes hungry in America. Share Our Strength named Chef Tim Advocate of the Year for his efforts.


Email Chef Tim at with questions


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