Food trucks have been a big hit in central Ohio and throughout the country for a few years.
Organizers of a local festival that celebrates the burgeoning food-truck concept have found a way to leverage its popularity into a major fundraising vehicle to help feed those in need in Pickerington.
The PCMA Food Pantry of Pickerington will host the third annual Food Truck Frenzy Sunday, June 4, at Seton Parish Catholic Church, 600 Hill Road North, Pickerington from 1-7 p.m.
The family-friendly event will feature at least eight different food trucks offering diverse cuisine, including Polynesian, Greek, German and Mexican.
Vendors this year include Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant, The Cheesy Truck, The Angry Weiner, Cupzilla Korean Barbecue, Graeter's Ice Cream, Little Red Coffee Van, Tortilla Street Food, Aloha Streatery and Niko's Street Eats. The trucks will be located on the Food Truck Plaza, which is sponsored by Violet Township.
Barb Meek, Director of Development and Community Relations for the PCMA Pantry, said organizers of the Food Truck Frenzy expect to build on the success the festival has garnered in its first two years.
"We didn't keep track of our gate the first year, but we knew by wristband sales we had 1,100 to 1,200 people for the first-year event. Last year we had close to 1,800 people," Meek said. "This event continues to grow."
To accommodate more people, the Food Truck Frenzy has expanded both its hours and family-oriented entertainment options this year.
"We've got a better time (period)," Meek said. "Being from 1 to 7 (p.m.), we're hitting both lunch and dinner.
"We've got three bands coming in to play. There will be something going on somewhere at all times," she said.
The Main Stage, sponsored by the city of Pickerington, will showcase performers Perfect Timing Band, 0 to 60ish Band and popular local singer Chris Logsden. The Pickerington Community Chorus and the Pickerington Suzuki Strings also are scheduled to perform.
Other attractions include inflatable amusements, Story Time presented by the Pickerington Public Library, a family craft center, face-painting and balloons.
The Violet Township Fire Department and the Pickerington Police Department's canine unit also will appear as will Violet the Cow, the library's mascot.
Meek said the goal of the festival is to raise money so the PCMA Food Pantry can continue to feed those in need.
"This helps us finish our fiscal year, which ends June 30," Meek said.
"The Festival of Lights fundraiser wasn't enough to get us to the end of the year. We keep this event fresh and exciting.
"This is also a festival that really kicks off the summer," she said.
Meek said the Food Truck Frenzy also will serve to raise awareness in the community about hunger issues.
"We've made it an event that raises awareness," she said, adding numbers bear out there is a definite need for the pantry in Pickerington.
"One in four kids in Ohio is hungry," Meek said.
"Last month (in May) the stats showed that the pantry fed 165 households. That's 650 people," said Meek.
She thanked all the volunteers and sponsors for help putting on the event and the Pickerington community for its unwavering support.
"People really want to support this event and we appreciate it," Meek said. "It makes it easier for us to get bigger and better."
For details about the PCMA Food Pantry, go to pcmafoodpantry.com.