Palmer food truck serves free meals for Barbeque Mission
The Happy Bison food truck has become a staple at Palmer festivities like Friday Fling during the summers.
Amanda Bowles is a lifelong resident of Palmer. Her husband, Mike Bowles, is from South Carolina and serves up BBQ inspired by his roots.
Pulled pork is one of his favorites.
“We use an eastern Carolina-style mop. A mop is a real thin sauce you mop on pork while you’re smoking it,” Mike said.
Amanda said they started the food truck because they love to feed people.
“My husband is never happier than when he’s in the kitchen and feeding the entire neighborhood,” she laughed.
The lunch rush brings out a line of people, but the Bowleses know not everyone can afford food truck fare.
Feeding America estimates about 13% of people living in the Mat-Su Borough struggle with food insecurity.
“Palmer might be a small town, but there are way too many hungry people for such a small town,” Amanda said.
That’s why the Bowleses started the Barbeque Mission.
Every Monday night the Happy Bison sets up in their church parking lot and all the meals are on the house.
“Mom and dad are working two jobs. Both are working to get home and may not want to cook. A free meal for a family of six is a significant thing,” Mike said.
Leon McElroy stopped by for his second visit, picking up dinner for his family of four.
“It helps with not having to make dinner or buy food. Saves money,” McElroy said. “I think it will be really good for people who are homeless here. They can come down and get some grub.”
There’s food to feed 50 and if it’s not enough, Mike will make more because it's what he loves to do.
“Being able to give people something I enjoy, and that’s cooking, good food and barbeque,” Mike said.
The Barbeque Mission sets up every Monday from 5-7 p.m. in the Charisma Life Ministries parking lot off Beaver Avenue in Palmer.
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