Christmas meals on wheels: Mississippi food truck to serve up fried turkey, dressing more to tornado victims

Published 5:44 am Monday, December 20, 2021

A Mississippi couple is planning to bring their food truck to tornado-slammed Kentucky to serve families on Christmas.

Tupelo restaurant owners Johnny Cook and Jennifer Brignac started a food truck four years ago to feed first responders and victims after disasters. They were living on the Gulf Coast when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2006 and saw the devastation it caused, The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports.

When they saw news coverage of the tornadoes that swept through the midwest and south earlier this month — killing at least 90 people, including at least 75 in Kentucky — they were determined to help.

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“We saw aerial footage of the damage, and I told Johnny it was weighing heavy on my heart — and he agreed,” Brignac told the newspaper.

On Christmas Eve, they plan to drive a pickup and haul a mobile food trailer 250 miles to Murray, Kentucky. They will stay overnight with missionaries from another local disaster response group, Eight Days of Hope. The next morning, they will travel to communities in need, serving Christmas day lunch.

The menu will be homemade fried turkey, chicken and dressing, vegetables and rolls. They’re also bringing donated snacks and candies. The couple is asking for handwritten Christmas cards to give out with every meal with gift cards and cash.
Their goal is to feed 250.

“Our whole thought is just to give them something normal on Christmas Day,” Brignac said.

The couple’s restaurant, Jo’s Cafe, will be closed next week, but they will be there preparing food for the holiday meal next week. They are requesting donations of cards, turkeys, snacks and money for gas.

It’s a non-traditional way to spend the holiday, “but it’s very rewarding to see the smiles and looks on people’s faces,” Cook said. “It’s worth everything.”