Good food, good music and only a little rain on Saturday made the first food truck festival hosted by the Highlands Area Rotary Club a hit.
Hot Ash Pizza, Los Gallitos, Knapp-Kins and Del Vecchio’s food trucks lined the lawn of Guardian Angels Parish-Most Blessed Sacrament in Harrison. Customers were able to move from truck to truck, while enjoying a bounce house, face painting, a DJ and a basket raffle.
The Rotary Club hosts multiple events a year, each benefiting both local charities and Rotary National’s fight against polio. They plan to donate Saturday’s proceeds to the Salvation Army backpack program and the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches Food Bank.
“They already began their backpack program for this year, but we want to help raise money to replenish supplies,” said Joe Lucchino, Highlands Area Rotary Club president.
Lucchino said that the event was something he and his team had thought about after the growing popularity of food trucks. After posting the event on the mobile app Nom Nom, Rotary member Beth Kendra personally went to different trucks and asked them to attend.
“We don’t really reach out to a lot of events,” said Rebecca Molnor, cook and worker at Knapp-Kins food truck. “They end up contacting us, and we like to do work for fundraisers and charity events, mostly.”
The truck is owned by her husband, Ron Knapp, who named the truck after his children. They specialize in pizza, chicken wings and tenders, french fries and Hungarian cuisine.
Molnor said that she hopes to eventually offer free food from their truck for people in need.
“I like being able to feed people and get them what they need,” Molnor said. “We do it a lot on our own now. If there’s anything left over, we always deliver it to the police station or whoever asks for it.”
The event became a team effort with the Rotary Club receiving support from the Tarentum Area Lions Club, who collected donations to include in the raffle baskets.
Lucchino said that about six months ago, local service groups including the Lions, the Rotary, the Knights of Columbus and the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber of Commerce, decided to form a coalition, and lend each other support during their respective events.
“We’re small groups,” Lucchino said. “We don’t have a large number of people. We have 13 members at the Highland Area Rotary, and about nine of them are active.”
Haley Daugherty is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Haley at 724-850-1203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.