Food Truck Fest this Saturday a benefit for Eugene Mission

The inaugural Food Truck Fest is Saturday, June 18, 2016.

EUGENE, Ore. - On Thursday, June 16, a fire destroyed the kitchen of the Eugene Mission. The fire forced 212 people to evacuate from the Eugene Mission and did $300,000 in damage to the shelter. The cause was improperly stored oil rags.

The fire forced the Mission to go into crisis mode- asking for prepared foods so they could still feed their guests. The community responded with donations and support.

"Having the fire yesterday was just a really surreal experience for all of us, and, you know, we can't say why the timing happened when it happened, but we've just been so blessed to have the community support," Caitlin Vargas, Development Director at the Eugene Mission, told KVAL on Friday.

Now the Eugene Mission prepares for it's first ever Eugene Food Truck Fest.

The Food Truck Fest invites 28 different Lane County-area food trucks to Valley River Center on Saturday at 11 a.m. in hopes of raising money and support for the Eugene Mission. Admission to the fest is free, but Vargas says 10 percent of the proceeds earned by the food trucks will go towards the Eugene Mission. Originally, the fest was a traditional fundraiser- but now, in light of the fire, it takes on an event more important role.

"So what we're looking at is not just a huge kitchen rebuild, but also how can we sustain and feed everyone over the next few months, while the kitchen is being rebuilt," Vargas said. "So we're actually putting together an operational emergency fund so that we can make sure people continue to be fed and not just focus on the kitchen rebuild."

Vargas says you can also donate cash and prepared food at the Food Truck Fest. Tee-shirts will also be on sale, with the sales money going towards the Eugene Mission.

The Eugene Food Truck Fest will take place in the parking lot of Valley River Center from 11 a.m. -3 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free, but food truck purchases are not. Eugene Mission asks for cash and prepared food donations.

For a complete list of food trucks, and more information, click here.

RELATED | How you can help the Eugene Mission

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