Mama Maggie: When you need to hire a food truck

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Hope cruises through the streets of Melbourne, driven by a genuine desire to lend a hand and a shared passion for delicious food.

The Mama Maggie food van rolls in, loaded with mouthwatering hot meals, treats, drinks, and more from Meals with Impact, bringing joy to even more people who might not reach our Docklands base. 

If you’re planning an outdoor shindig or a community bash and need a food truck rental, just hit up Mama Maggie and her team of incredible and talented women.

We call her “Mama Maggie,” a cute twist on “Magpie Meals Food Van,” an extension of the Magpie Meals program thanks to the Collingwood Football Club, one of our biggest cheerleaders and sponsors.

At the heart of the Club’s vision are aiding the vulnerable and underprivileged, promoting inclusion and equality, and engaging with indigenous and multicultural communities. They put their money where their mouth is through the Collingwood Foundation, backing community efforts at the Magpies Community Centre.

Funds for Mama Maggie come from the Collingwood Foundation, in sync with the Club’s dedication to empowering communities and fostering an inclusive vibe.

Born in February 2022, the Magpie Meals program serves up culturally fitting food relief for marginalised communities in and around Melbourne. It was a response to the tough lockdowns during the pandemic from 2020 to 2021, incredibly challenging for communities in public housing estates.

By taking our meals on the road as a food truck rental, Mama Maggie helps fund Magpie Meals and creates more work opportunities for women eager to join the program.

Mama Maggie started her adventures at the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne’s Iftar dinner in March 2023. Shortly after, our food van delighted guests at the Fuse Festival at Reservoir Park, making waves during Collingwood’s grand final festivities.

When not rocking events, Mama Maggie brings culturally fitting food relief to hundreds of communities facing food insecurity across local government areas.

Delicious By Design

As someone who runs food trucks for events, we can’t stress enough how crucial a standout design is for the success of our event truck rentals. It’s not just about serving great food; the design of our food truck needs to reflect our culinary vision, grab people’s attention, and leave a lasting impression on everyone who comes across it.

So, when designing Mama Maggie, our beloved food van, we knew it had to be something special. Mama Maggie’s unique look results from collaboration among the talented women on our team. 

Now, our skills are primarily in the culinary arts, not the visual arts, so we enlisted the help of community artist Wagner Shintani’s support to bring our vision to life on the exterior wrap of our food van.

Wagner, the creative force behind Black Samurai Studios, is known for his vibrant and colourful art, blending painting, drawing, and collage into a spirited mix. With Wagner and our very own Georga as facilitators, our team had two intensive design sessions. 

It felt more like an art workshop than a brainstorming session, and we even had a wooden spoon among our art supplies for a dash of inspiration.

During those sessions, we aimed to make Mama Maggie visually striking and provide a sneak peek into what makes our team and food unique. Our utensils, like the tagine and spice vessels unique to our cuisine, made their way into the design. We also added cultural motifs and a touch of the iconic Collingwood Magpie.

Wagner worked his magic to create the final design with our individual collages and artworks as the foundation. This design was then expertly translated into the exterior wrap by the skilled folks at 13cabs, who took care of all the technical aspects and the actual wrapping process. 

We’re also grateful to 13cabs for being a generous partner and supporter of Meals with Impact.

Driven To Serve

As Mama Maggie cruises through the city, she’s not just serving food; she’s spreading the word and rallying support for our Magpie Meals program.

In just over six months on the road, our food truck rental sensation, Mama Maggie, is on the fast track to becoming a true Melbourne icon. With vibrant orange and yellow decals and cool blue accents, you just can’t miss her greatness. Mama Maggie’s become a familiar sight for fans, signalling that delicious treats are en route to an event, promising a feast for all participants.

She has already rocked events like the Darebin FUSE festival and the Community Cup, dishing up goodness to as many as 350 hungry souls at a time. Plus, she had the honour of serving lunch to the Collingwood Community Football Team, a program that supports marginalised youth and adults.

These events have been a goldmine of work experience for our amazing women, honing their skills to manage a bustling crowd of guests like pros.

Catering for a hungry horde isn’t a walk in the park. Besides the nitty-gritty kitchen skills like mastering different types of knives and whipping up special sauces for our Halal-friendly dishes at Meals with Impact, there’s a whole set of skills specific to running food trucks for events.

Our team underwent special training, learning to prep, pack, and transport ingredients and meals. They’re well-versed in meeting the official standards for food safety and cleanliness, and they’ve got moving efficiently within the tight quarters of a food van down to a tee. They’re also pros at setting up and packing away equipment without a hitch.

And let’s talk service – a make or break factor. Especially for our Mama Maggie team, providing a top-notch customer experience is as important as the food itself. Handling a lively crowd with a smile and speed can be a challenge, and Mama Maggie is the perfect hands-on training ground for our team, perfectly complementing our multicultural food hub.

Training our food van team is about getting to know everyone like family so we can match them up with the best roles and tasks. At Meals with Impact, our team dynamic is more of a tight-knit crew, like a second family for our women. It’s this bond that boosts confidence, making sure we run events like a well-oiled machine.

Regarding service manners, our training covers the ins and outs of how we roll. Team members master the sequence of our operations and the art of serving our delectable dishes. They know how to juggle requests and prioritise orders, even when a bunch of them comes crashing in all at once.

For Mama Maggie to truly shine, we give our team the lowdown on food service tech, especially our trusty POS system. This tech-savvy training is golden for our women, not just for the job at hand but for their employability. 

It’s not just about ringing up transactions; it’s about managing sales, inventory, and customer relationships and spitting out killer reports. Oh, and by the way, the POS system we use in our catering food trucks for parties and events is a different beast than what you’d find in regular restaurants.

We ensure everyone has the necessary training tools – handbooks, videos, discussions – you name it. But the real learning? Happens on the job. Newbies shadow the seasoned pros, and questions and feedback are always welcome. 

Meals with Impact loves seeing our team develop a keen eye for detail and seize every learning moment Mama Maggie throws their way.

Making A Difference

Every time you roll with a food truck rental from Meals with Impact, you’re getting tasty eats and giving diverse background women a shot at success through paid work experience.

It’s a bit of a challenge for many migrant women who are totally qualified and capable but face job hurdles when they land in Australia. Meals with Impact offers the community the support they need to find solid and fulfilling employment.

We’ve got a minimum spend requirement, depending on the event you’ve got cooking. And if you want some menu magic tailored to your gathering, we’ve covered you for an extra fee. 

Our star players include mouthwatering curries served with pilau rice and za’atar bread, all packaged in biodegradable containers for your convenience.

Do you have questions about our Food Van Hire service? Hit us up here. And if you’re feeling hungry and need some menu inspiration, check out our offerings to get those Mama Maggie orders locked and loaded for your event.

Behind every successful dish, there are hardworking and persevering women willing to do their part. As long as they have their recipes, talent and compassion to share, there will always be Meals With Impact.

Meals With Impact is dedicated to empowering women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, helping them achieve employment success through our united passion for food. Get in touch with us to find out how you can help us in our mission, today.