Sisters Camelot, the nonprofit collective that has shared organic produce and other food around the Twin Cities since 1997, upgraded their services this spring to include a full service kitchen. Now, in addition to traveling with the brightly colored transit bus that delivers the organic food, the collective has begun their Bluebird Kitchen Bus program, a fully equipped kitchen-in-a-bus that delivers healthy made-from-scratch meals for free. This week, they’re in the parking lot of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, on 28th and Emerson in North Minneapolis, serving much needed hot meals to North Siders who have been affected by the tornado.
On Tuesday, the Bluebird Kitchen served stuffed bell peppers, tortillas and apricot crisp, right outside the bus.
Sisters Camelot is comprised of 11 collective members, with as many as 14 volunteers a day to run the program. Many of the collective members also work other jobs. When Clive North, one of the two program coordinators, is not planning meals or seeing to bus maintenance, she’s working at her other job teaching medical students how to do exams.
The modified 1987 Bluebird bus contains a complete commercial kitchen, including a full-size gas range with a grill and ovens, on board water and electricity, stainless steel prep surfaces, and on board refrigeration. It’s partially funded by a grant from the Wedge Co-op, using donated produce from Albert’s Organics and Co-op Partners.
The kitchen travels along with the food share bus, which distributes 6,000-8,000 pounds of overstock organic produce to hundreds of people each week. As they camped out in Jordan on Tuesday, neighbors filled boxes of bell peppers, greens, watermelon and other fruits and vegetables.
While neighbors were appreciative of the free produce, many of them said that they were still without power, so the addition of the kitchen bus serving a three-course meal was especially needed.