Knoxville restaurant helps the community with free food truck


KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A local business has purchased a food truck, not to expand their business and make more money by selling more food on the street, but to help the community.

The FIVE restaurant owner Cris Eddings says he is part of this community and when given a chance to feed those less fortunate, it was an easy decision.

The food truck is on the streets three days a week, giving gourmet soups away to people in need.

Lloyd Orndorff lives at Summit Towers and is on a fixed income. When he saw lunch was being served for free outside the building, he decided to try it out.

“Yes it helps every little bit. It helps. That’s why I go to these food banks to get help, but I do share with other people to help them out. It helps me and them,” said Orndorff.

Eddings parked the truck at Summit Towers. He says the sole purpose of the food truck is to feed people who may not be able to afford a nice lunch.

“While there are soup kitchens everywhere and they do wonderful things, it’s hard for people to transport themselves to soup kitchens sometimes,” said Eddings.

Eddings started the program last week. He says they fed at least 70 people at Summit Towers last Monday. He says people were skeptical at first, wondering why he was giving lunch away.

“There is no catch and we’re only doing this because we think we should,” said Eddings.

Eddings is a huge proponent of helping others. He encourages his employees to volunteer by paying them to spend time with charities. Eddings hopes his staff takes notice of the importance of helping others.

“We have the opportunity here to teach our staff that owning a business, there’s a lot more to it than making a profit,” said Eddings.

The truck will be parked at different locations three days a week giving away gourmet soups. Eddings buys food for the food truck and also uses food from the night before. The food is prepared by the chef and is restaurant quality.

It is a fantastic tasting free lunch Orndorff is thankful to have.

“This is gumbo that’s good. Thank you,” said Orndorff.

To encourage his employees to help others in the community Eddings cuts a check to his employees for volunteering at area non-profits.

He is also helping WATE 6 On Your Side Reporter Stephanie Beecken with a fundraiser for Horse Haven of Tennessee. If you go to The FIVE restaurant and grab a drink or bite to eat on Tuesday, March 31, from 5 to 7 p.m., be sure to mention WATE or Horse Haven. He will donate 50 percent of your purchase to Horse Haven.

Related story: Dancing for the Horses raising money for Horse Haven of Tennessee

Beecken is the station representative in Dancing for the Horses to benefit Horse Haven. Click here to donate.

The FIVE restaurant is located at 430 South Gay Street in Knoxville.

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