This summer children experiencing food insecurity in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region could access a meal from a new food truck supported by The Minnesota Vikings Foundation in partnership with Xcel Energy. Built by the Specialty Vehicles Division of Winnebago Industries in collaboration with local food truck operators Tony and Haley Fritz, the new community outreach vehicle is dubbed “Vikings Table.” Its aim is to help tackle hunger, while engaging children and families with the Vikings NFL sports team up close and around home nutrition education. This is the first commercial kitchen produced using the Winnebago commercial shell vehicle platform.
“Vikings Table is a new and important program of the Vikings Foundation’s greater mission, which has always been to advance the well-being of youth through engaging health and education initiatives,” said Vikings Executive Director of Social Impact Brett Taber. “Approximately 250,000 children in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area are missing meals during the summer months. We’re excited to partner with other non-profit organizations and leverage the power of the Vikings brand to bring people together in the fight against hunger.”
While the food truck is serving lunch, children can also visit an indoor section of the vehicle, designed by the Minneapolis experiential marketing agency STAR. In the experiential room, families can learn more about the Vikings, and its foundation through graphics and videos. The space will also provide nutritional education for families to implement at home.
Built on a Winnebago Commercial Vehicle Platform, the 38 foot Vikings Food Truck features a Freightliner MC chassis, which weighs less than 26,000 lbs and can be driven without a commercial driver’s license. The commercial kitchen is designed to hold as many as 10 food preparation professionals when parked. The kitchen features all NSF certified appliances and work surfaces, as well as meets all Minnesota state and Minneapolis municipal codes for a commercial kitchen.
“A great amount of human centered design and engineering went into proper weight distribution and serving ergonomics to get this commercial kitchen up and going,” said Ashis N. Bhattacharya Vice President, Strategic Planning and Development at Winnebago. “We are excited to see the possibilities of this vehicle, with or without the commercial kitchen, as it could help partners address food insecurity for families across the country.”
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