GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Food truck season is here and one local truck is bringing the flavors of Ethiopia to town.
But, the mission goes far beyond the menu. “It is not like burn your mouth hot, it is just so spicy, flavorful” says Pat Joyce of his cooking. “I have a secret sauce with avocado that sort of levels everything out” he says.
The flavors of Ethiopia come to northeast Wisconsin thanks to his Pay It Forward truck.
“We are here because someone helped us” says Tesfaye Joyce who was adopted from Ethiopia a decade ago by the Joyce family.
“You think you are prepared for it, and some of the things that I saw while i was there just instantly changes your life” Pat Joyce says of his time in Ethiopia.
He wanted to find a way to help more homeless kids.
According to Tesfaye “They worry about what they eat so they are not able to go to school. There is not a lot of education because they have to go find something to eat rather than go to school”.
Instead of simply asking for donations, the Joyce family wanted to give people a taste of culture for a cause. “We are not asking everyone to give us money, just come eat a taco, grilled cheese, whatever you do remember you are helping someone else” Tesfaye says.
The menu pairs traditional Ethiopian cooking techniques and exotic spice combinations with familiar comfort food. “I like the sammy. It is something different than American food” says Mulugeta Breecher who was also adopted from Ethiopia by a local family. Now, he works on the food truck with Pat and Tesfaye who says “The tacos are probably the best way to try out our food”.
Money raised will be used to purchase a twin truck for Ethiopia. “We will get it moving from school yard to school yard with a free meal so that rather than beg or forage we can get our hands on them an get them connected with local social workers” Pat explains.
Pay it Forward Ethiopia has also started an aquaponics training ground in that country, to help people grow their own food with limited resources.
“When people are eating a taco and they look up and see orphan care, then all of a sudden they are really happy they are doing this. It is not costing them anything else” Pat says of his business model.
To find out where the food truck will be serving next, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tasteofethiopiafoodtruck