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Rapid City Area Schools received a grant to buy a food truck. The vehicle will be used to hand out meals to kids in need during the summer. 

Journal file

Another food truck is coming to Rapid City. Just don’t go looking for it outside Founders Park.

The Rapid City school district, in partnership with the Midwest Dairy Council, will purchase a food truck to hit Rapid City streets starting next summer. Intended to help distribute meals to students in “food desert” areas across the city during the summer months, Janelle Peterson, the district’s student nutrition manager, said she hopes the truck can also be used for educational purposes in future years.

“There’s just so many prospects for continued activity and learning through the summer months,” Peterson said.

As part of the agreement, the dairy council will provide $15,000 toward the cost of the equipment to be installed inside the truck, including a refrigerator, freezer and a three-compartment sink. Funds for buying the vehicle, other equipment and the “wrap” adorning the truck’s exterior will come from the district’s food service fund reserves. Under the agreement, the truck wrap must feature dairy products.

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Peterson said the idea to get a school food truck has been in the making for the past few years and if the program does well, another food truck could be on the horizon. She added that one idea was to get students to buy their own truck and then learn how to run a successful business, including planning, food prep, marketing and accounting. It could also be used for fundraising purposes.

For now, the plan for the truck, which is expected to be rolled out by June 1, is to make four to five stops per day around Rapid City during the summer to distribute meals. The school is working with the Rapid City Collective Impact group to identify area food deserts where meals can be served for free or at a reduced price.

Contact Samuel Blackstone at samuel.blackstone@rapidcityjournal.com

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City reporter for the Rapid City Journal

City reporter for the Rapid City Journal.