TUSTIN, CA--(Marketwired - February 13, 2014) - The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc. and the Orange County Rescue Mission are partnering to provide expanded services for the homeless and unemployed veterans living in Orange County, California. The two organizations today announced a signed letter of intent to combine certain resources and create a joint venture that will expand services provided to area veterans.
Under the joint venture, the Orange County Rescue Mission will provide its kitchen facilities, on-site student workforce and a student sales and marketing team and The Grilled Cheese Truck will provide to the special purpose entity its food industry expertise, business knowledge and brand.
Revenue from the venture is intended to help create additional jobs and skills to help homeless individuals transition into the mainstream, with a focus on veterans, and provide expanded assistance in the areas of guidance, counseling, education, shelter, food and clothing, and health care, among other services.
A particular focus will include implementation of a "Veterans Village of Hope" and creation of a self-sufficient program for homeless and hurting veterans in Orange County. Like the Orange County Rescue Mission's current Village of Hope, which is a transitional housing program for homeless men, women and children, the Veterans Village would provide an array of similar services that are geared toward veterans and their families.
In 2012, the last full year of available government statistics, the Department of Labor reported the unemployment rate for Gulf War-era II veterans, aged 18-24, was 20 percent, well above the rate for non-veterans of the same age. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans adds that approximately 33 percent of homeless men in the United States are veterans and, on any given night, more than 300,000 veterans are living on the street or in shelters.
According to Orange County Rescue Mission President Jim Palmer, similar percentages are being reported for Orange County.
"A more comprehensive outreach program is desperately needed in Orange County," Palmer said. "We're excited about the enhanced capability to fund our Veterans Village of Hope through this unique partnership with The Grilled Cheese Truck."
The Grilled Cheese Truck is perhaps America's first public food truck company and could become the nation's first grilled cheese truck franchise operation. It will bring its popular menu and significant brand identity to the partnership with The Orange County Rescue Mission, along with its commitment to provide livable-wage employment and franchise ownership opportunities to America's military veterans.
"This will be a unique partnership between a for-profit company and a non-profit organization that share a goal to provide services and resources to an underserved segment of our population -- in this case, U.S. veterans in need," said Peter Goldstein, president of The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc.
Established as a faith-based not-for-profit in 1963, The Orange County Rescue Mission has become one of Southern California's largest assistance organizations by following its mission: Feed. Clothe. Shelter. Heal. Empower. The Rescue Mission facilitates numerous programs that serve as a source of help to area residents in need, among them, providing 3,499 meals every day for a total of more than 1,276,000 each year. To learn more, visit www.rescuemission.org.
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., The Grilled Cheese Truck, Inc. is an entrepreneurial "emerging growth" company with a brand and menu that are popular. A fast-growing, early-mover in the gourmet food truck industry, The Grilled Cheese Truck currently operates 14 food trucks in Southern California, Arizona and Texas. Its mission to target military veterans attracted former supreme commander of NATO Gen. (ret.) Wesley Clark, who serves as a Company director and is actively involved in supervising the outreach to and training of veteran franchisees to ensure there's a solid support system for job growth.
Believed to be the first publicly held, fully reporting, gourmet food truck in America and possibly the first grilled cheese food truck franchise opportunity, The Grilled Cheese Truck is among the early first growth companies actively seeking accredited investors under the new JOBS Act and qualifies as an Emerging Growth Company as defined by the JOBS Act and the Securities and Exchange Commission. To learn more, visit www.thegrilledcheesetruck.com.