Rather than serving food, one vehicle has been converted to do just the opposite: accept food donations, just like a food drive on wheels.
The Minneapolis-based Finnegans was founded in 2000 and was the first beer company in the world to donate 100 percent of its profits to hunger alleviation charities, according to the company.
To further its mission to put “hunger in the rearview,” in March 2014 the Finnegans Reverse Food Truck was created in partnership with the Emergency Foodshelf Network. The aim: to collect $50,000 in food and donations or more in just seven months.
Through the Finnegans Community Fund, 100 percent of its profits from the beer business are turned into food for the hungry. Additionally, 98 percent of all funds that are donated to the Finnegans Community Fund go directly to alleviating hunger in local communities.
Creating the Concept
The idea to create the Reverse Food Truck came from the company’s advertising agency, Martin Williams.
“We are always looking for ways to give back even more, and when we heard the idea we couldn’t resist taking a chance at something big,” said Reverse Food Truck Coordinator Jake Haehnel.
The company upfitted a 1983 Chevrolet Step Van P30 to create the unique vehicle. To create the upfit, a few modifications had to be made.
“We had to empty the truck of all interior storage and equipment to allow for more room for more food,” Haehnel said. “We had an awning installed and everything else about the vehicle is stock. There is no kitchen or cooking equipment.”
In addition to the awning, a window was cut into the side of the truck to accept donations, and a metal table was added inside.
According to Haehnel, the company has faced a few challenges, including the fact that the truck didn’t run when it was purchased.
“We had plenty of challenges, but we have great people looking to make a difference and got great work done,” he said.
As for the eye-catching graphics, the company searched for a cost-effective method and determined that custom, die-cut decals were the best solution.
For fleets looking to create a unique upfit for their fleets, Haehnel had one recommendation.
“Get creative and ask the experts! Our partners were wonderful in providing expert advice in creating the Reverse Food Truck, the application of the graphics, and keeping the truck running during the still-cold St. Patrick’s Day launch,” he said.
- Vehicle: 1983 Chevrolet Step Van P30
- Fuel Type: Gasoline
- Engine: 7.4L V-8 Gasoline Engine
- Transmission: 3-speed Automatic