Friday, October 20, 2017

Six Bends food truck event to benefit child food insecurity

food truck wars crowd shot

“naples

This weekend, Six Bends Harley-Davidson is hosting another food truck rally.

Called the SWFL Hunger Games, last year’s edition, then known as the Food Truck Wars, drew a massive crowd estimated at 10-15,000 people, so large it snarled traffic on Interstate 75.

Taking lessons from that event, this year’s event will be smaller, but hopefully no less successful, said Taylor Loethen, the head of marketing and planning for Top Rocker Events.

“We learned a lot from the last event, both good and bad,” Loethen said. “It’s easier to get better when you kind of know where your thresholds are for the venue.”

This year’s event, held at Top Rocker Field – an event space adjacent to the motorcycle dealer’s store, is capped at 2,500 tickets, both for logistical and safety purposes. SWFL Hunger Games is designed to benefit Blessings in a Backpack, a non-profit which combats food insecurity in schoolchildren.

According to a USDA report from 2016, 6.5 million children live in food insecurity, which means that families don’t know when or where their next meal will come from. 60,000 children in Lee County alone have issues with meal assurance outside of school hours. While free and reduced lunch programs provide schoolchildren with meals while they’re in school, as many as 3,000 of them may not have a decent meal over the weekend.

Blessings in a Backpack guarantees food for three years per child, at a cost of around $100 per year. Loethen said Top Rocker’s goal this year is to raise $10,000 for the organization.

Saturday’s event will feature more than 30 food trucks from around the area, along with beer and live entertainment. Tickets are $10 in advance, available online. Donations for Blessings in a Backpack will also be accepted.

Learning from last year’s mammoth showing, Loethen said Top Rocker has several more upcoming events as well as part of the Morgan & Morgan Signature Series, outdoor events designed to provide entertainment and benefit local non-profit organizations including Salute, an event honoring military and first responders to benefit Avow on Nov. 11, The Biggest Baddest Beer Bash on Dec. 2 to benefit the United Way, and a “secret” show on March 10.

“I’m amazed to be a part of it and I think it’s really going to surprise a lot of people,” she said.

IF YOU GO

What: SWFL Hunger Games to benefit Blessings in a Backpack
When: Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Top Rocker Field, Six Bends Harley-Davidson, 9501 Thunder Road, Fort Myers
Tickets: $10 in advance; $15 at the door
Parking: $10 onsite; $5 off-site with shuttle provided


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