SUNNYSIDE, Texas - Many of us choose to eat unhealthily, from time to time, but for some Houstonians, eating right isn’t necessarily an option. So, a couple of childhood friends hope to change that.
At Cafe JuJu Food Truck, just like the others, they will happily accept your hard-earned cash, but unlike many others, this food truck accepts food, stamps, and EBT cards.
"Food insecurity is something serious. When you eat better you do better," says Cafe JuJu Food Truck Owner Julia "Chef JuJu" Hogan McNeil.
With that in mind and knowing some in Sunnyside may not be able to drive miles to a grocery store, Cafe JuJu is heading to them, taking healthy meals, including plant-based ones.
"And if you don't want to do plant-based, which I don't know who does not want to have my plant-based because I am the best out there, but we also offer things like salmon, chicken, turkey," Hogan McNeil explains.
This food truck accepts credit cards, cash, and, "It took me over a year and a half, but I'm proud to say I am certified to receive food stamps, EBT, and Lone Star," says Hogan McNeil.
"When you look around, it really is a food desert and if you want anything decent you have to travel a very long way," adds Erik Wilson with Cafe JuJu.
The two childhood friends, Wilson and Hogan McNeil, are choosing to bring healthy meals on wheels to Sunnyside because it's where they grew up.
"We owe everything we have to this neighborhood. It was there for us when we were down. I was raised on the backs of women in this neighborhood," Wilson explains.
"If we can have our kids eat healthier in the morning for lunch and for dinner, they're sleeping better, that means they're going to do better in school," Hogan McNeil adds.
While some meals come pre-prepared and water and freshly squeezed juice come with it, following government guidelines, customers using food stamps and an EBT card can't buy hot meals here.
"I want to make sure we're clear we don't serve anyone any hot plates or hot food. We're giving them food they would get from the grocery store if they had access," explains Hogan McNeil.
The Cafe JuJu Food Truck often sets up in the parking lot of Cullen Missionary Baptist Church. You can find their scheduled locations by visiting their website.