Food News

How Local Food Trucks are Helping with California Fire Relief

October 16, 2017

Off the Grid, a San Francisco startup, is organizing relief efforts in the wake of Northern California’s ferocious fires. The company usually coordinates with public marketplaces to get food truck vendors, catering companies, and chefs all in one place. Last week, they shifted focus and mobilized their network in response to a call for help from the City of Santa Rosa.

Since then, Off the Grid launched an effort get food trucks from across San Francisco and the Bay Area feeding first responders and communities displaced by the fires. Their GoFundMe page has garnered almost triple what it originally asked for and their current goal of $30,000 is just shy of being met. The organization is using the funds to compensate the food service professionals who devote their time and resources to feeding those in need—vendors receive $7.50 for each meal they serve. On Friday, Off the Grid announced a partnership with Google that will allow them to serve 25,000 meals to shelters in Napa and Sonoma over the next month.

The fires and their destruction have been horrible to witness, but organizations like Off the Grid are doing their best to respond. Check out their GoFundMe page to see how you can best help. For other ways to get involved or help from afar, turn to this comprehensive list put together by the LA Times. Relief efforts are far from over, as first responders and firefighters continue to parse the fire's extensive damage. The needs of those in Northern California are constantly in flux, and any donation counts.

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.