By Bullard Benjamin The Cullman Times, Ala.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The Cullman County Extension office in Alabama hopes to change food habits with their new food trailer. The trailer is wrapped in purple, with the words 'eat better, move more, make a change.'The idea is to not only tell people about healthy eating, but to show them as well.
The Cullman Times, Ala.
The Cullman County Extension Office is finding out that food trucks are more than just a magnet for hungry pedestrians.
Fresh off the acquisition of a food trailer to call its own, the extension office has big plans to demonstrate that healthy eating doesn't have to take a back seat to fun -- or convenience.
"Food trucks and trailers can be found all across Alabama selling food items often without healthy options," Donna Shanklin, a regional extension agent in human nutrition, diet and health, said in announcing the purchase.
"The Cullman County Extension office hopes to change that with their new food trailer. The trailer is wrapped in purple, with the words 'eat better, move more, make a change.'"
The idea is to not only tell people about healthy eating, but to show them as well.
Cullman County Extension Coordinator Tony Glover said the trailer was purchased from an assortment of local, state and national grant funds. Custom-made for educational use, the trailer features generator power, propane gas and a small water tank -- all of which makes it completely independent from the utility grid.
One education-focused distinction that separates the new trailer from its commercial food-truck cousins is the addition of video capability, which allows the truck to film the food prep process and broadcast it, in real time, on an attached 42-inch television.
The trailer is already seeing local use, with the extension office using it to stage cooking demonstrations in the area's more remote locations; places that don't have a readily available kitchen. In the weeks and months to come, the extension office will also take the trailer to festivals, fairs and farmers' markets across Cullman County. The extension office is also exploring the possibility of pairing up with Wallace State Community College to make use of the trailer as an educational tool for the school's Culinary Arts students.
The trailer's potential uses aren't merely theoretical. In a time of need, the extension office can deploy it to serve food in locations where the infrastructure has been compromised -- or is altogether absent.
"After the 2011 tornado, we saw the need in rural areas for a mobile kitchen to feed disaster response teams healthy hot meals," Glover explained.
Cullman County Economic Development director Cherrie Haney welcomed the idea of adding the trailer to the extension office's growing list of local assets.
"We are excited to have this resource in our community," she said. "We look forward to seeing it used to educate the general public, and to train entrepreneurs who may be interested in becoming food vendors."