The Director of a city social services program, HOPE (Housing Opportunities, Partnership and Engagement) has suggested that a food truck may be the solution to growing diet-related health issues among homeless people in San Francisco, according to Heather Knight for SFGate City Insider blog. Bevan Dufty, Director of HOPE, grandson to Billie Holiday, proposes a soul food truck on the streets of the Tenderloin district, staffed by homeless people with an aim to deliver healthier culinary options and a sense of community to those living in supportive housing.

Similar to a program in Boise, Idaho, the staff will prepare and distribute Dufty’s soul food for lunch and dinner, five days per week throughout one of the city’s most densely homeless-populated districts, where the options are limited to corner liquor stores and fast food.

“It’s a neighborhood where a lot of people are living in supportive housing,” Dufty said. “They don’t have kitchen facilities so their food options are limited, and those limited food options are undermining people’s health.”

The program will be aptly named, “Heavenly Souls.”

“I’m a soul food aficionado, and I am well known for my talent at preparing soul food — you can ask people,” said Dufty. “They may bring me in as a consultant.”

Dufty plans to work with the Episcopal Community Services CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness through Employment in Food Services) program to provide training for the staff of his Heavenly Souls food truck. Employees are trained in a six month program and internship, before moving into a regular job.

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About the Author

Chris Ford is the founder of Stitches 'n Dishes and editor in chief with a passion for food, photography and travel. Chris is a Media Correspondent for the Food Network TV show, Eat St, a syndicated blogger, seasoned event organizer and promoter, a food critic, a marketing consultant and Social Media Marketing expert. Chris is also a fashion and entertainment photographer. When he's not dining on the sidewalk, he's snapping photos on the catwalk.

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  • StitchesnDishes

    Exactly, Michelle. It gives people a sense of community, and it provides jobs. It will help get people’s lives back on track. I lived in SF for a decade and I’m very familiar with the CHEFS program. I was working with a community garden, when I met the director of the program. They arranged for some space in the garden to grow their own herbs and vegetables. The people in the program were so passionate and had an incredible drive.

  • StitchesnDishes

    Definitely. It takes that concept a step further, going beyond door to door delivery. In an area like this, they really need something that builds community. Food trucks are very heavily regulated in SF, Mr Bill, and this one would be no different, as I understand it. They’d still need to get the same permits and be inspected, just like the other food trucks on the road there. I’m sure the vending permit would be discounted or completely subsidized, since it’s a City program.