Momentum continues to build in programs and efforts to serve our veterans in Orange County. I am thrilled to share with you about our latest partnership with the Grilled Cheese Truck. Read on to catch more of the latest news sharing about this acclaimed food truck hitting the streets of Orange County in partnership with the Rescue Mission in an effort to provide jobs for men and women of service.
The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc.® and Orange County Rescue Mission begin pilot program working with veterans to prepare and serve one of America’s favorite comfort foods to Orange County. “From a Cheesy Mac, made with macaroni, sharp cheddar cheese, barbequed pork, and caramelized onions; to a Brie Melt on cranberry walnut bread filled with Brie, sliced pears, almonds and wildflower honey, each and every meal we serve from this new gourmet food truck will help veterans and others in need,” Hodges notes. The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc., which is one of the largest food truck companies in the United States, and the Orange County Rescue Mission, have formed a joint-venture for the new truck and its operations.

The food prep for the new Grilled Cheese Truck will take place at the Rescue Mission’s state-of-the-art, 4,879 square-foot kitchen. The Rescue Mission will also manage booking food truck venues and dates for Orange County’s new Grilled Cheese Truck. A U.S. veteran who has been working for The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc. in Los Angeles will serve as the manager for the new truck. His responsibilities will include training veterans and others living in the Orange County Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope to prepare and serve the food, as well as managing the overall operation.

Profit from the Orange County Grilled Cheese Truck will be shared 50-50 between the Orange County Rescue Mission and The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc. “The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc. is a for-profit, public company. In our other markets, we are already a highly successful business, and whenever possible, we are employing veterans as our food truck employees,” Hodges explains. “Our company’s mission is to create and provide thousands of jobs and ownership opportunities to qualified U.S. veterans. Partnering with the Orange County Rescue Mission, which serves more homeless veterans than any other privately funded organization in Orange County, is our perfect opportunity.” “In fact, right now Orange County has the 6th largest homeless veteran population in the country,” he adds. “We anticipate starting here, and then using this as a model of operation, we will expand across rescue missions nationwide.”

According to Jim Palmer, president of the Orange County Rescue Mission, “We are grateful that we have such a wonderful partner with The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc. This program will provide opportunities for our Village of Hope residents to learn food service skills, while also delivering much-needed income to assist with all of our programs. It is so important to find and encourage companies who hire veterans, and The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc. is focused on doing that as part of its core philosophy.”

While the gourmet food truck industry is growing at a rate of 100 percent per year, a majority of the current trucks are owned by an individual or two.
“Most of the trucks in our industry are well over 10 years old. The Grilled Cheese Truck in Orange County, however, is a state-of-the-art, brand new truck built specifically for our business,” he explains. “We will be utilizing a brand new custom built truck, which is more streamlined and runs on brand new American-made GMC chassis that offers a lower carbon footprint with higher fuel economy and flex fuel alternatives,” stated Mr. Hodges. “In addition, this platform is safer with features such as ABS brakes, airbags, greater visibility and belted seating for four providing unprecedented safety for food truck employees.”
The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc. uses a hub-and-spoke model to ensure that its food is high quality, consistent and tastes delicious, he explains. “When you have tasty items like slow-roasted pork as a sandwich ingredient, you simply can’t make it in two minutes on a truck,” Hodges notes. “We prepare the food in advance with attention to detail and quality control, load it onto the truck, and then the final steps of grilling and melting are done on-site when food is ordered. Our customers can taste the difference.”
“Every time an Orange County resident buys one of our sandwiches, or our tomato soup or tater tots, for that matter, they are not only getting the great food they know and love, they’re also supporting the veterans who work on the truck, and helping the Orange County Rescue Mission as a whole,” Hodges points out. “The more business our truck can get at various events and locations, the more veterans are being helped with their new careers. We find that our stakeholders are proud that they can be involved in a company that is not only producing a spectacular product, but is helping veterans at the same time.”
What’s on the menu? The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc. is taking America’s favorite comfort food to a gourmet level.
Plain melts are made with a selection of cheeses including Gruyere, Brie, Habanero Jack, American, Sharp Cheddar and Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese. In addition, the Grilled Cheese Truck features melts including savory ingredients such as BBQ smoked pork, mac and cheese, homemade chili, fresh avocado, Applewood bacon, smoked turkey, caramelized onions and caramelized mushrooms, fire-roasted tomato salsa, sliced red onions, sliced apples, fresh basil, bread-and-butter pickles, sliced ripe tomatoes, and sliced pears. For those seeking a sweeter melt, ingredient options include Nutella, toasted marshmallows, brown-butter apples, candied walnuts, peanut butter and graham crackers. On the side, customers can select a cup or a “shot” of tomato soup, a cup of mac and cheese, tater tots with sea salt, and a variety of dipping sauces.
*** If you are interested in booking the Grilled Cheese Truck for your next event, please contact kristin.bruce@rescuemission.org

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