Giving Back

Food Truck Fling Will Help Roxbury Food Pantry

Credits: Just Jersey Food Truck & Music Festival

ROXBURY, NJ – The last thing Succasunna event promoter Allison Kohler needed was a rainy day for the third, and final, Just Jersey Food Truck & Music Festival of 2015. She'd already suffered through one such day, back in June.

So with forecasters calling for a deluge on Oct. 3, when Kohler had scheduled the event, Kohler pulled the plug and rescheduled it for Oct. 10. Since a chunk of the proceeds from Kohler’s festivals is given to the Roxbury Food Pantry,clear skies are important.

A beautiful day greeted the second festival on Aug. 8, but the first one, on June 27, was awash in precipitation.

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Kohler said the October event, while continuing to feature craft beer and many food trucks offering fare that can hardly be called low-calorie, has a new twist. “There is a health and wellness component to this one,” she said, including a CrossFit competition.

In that competition, 40 CrossFit aficionados will battle in what has been named the “Heroes Journey First Annual OktoberFest Competition” presented by Heroes Journey CrossFit of Lake Parsippany. Kohler said there will also be free cholesterol screenings. “That’s a great feature,” she said. “To go to a festival and find out a little bit about your health. I don’t think it’s something people check regularly, so that’s a very nice feature.”

As was the case with the prior two Food Truck Festivals, the last one will have live music all day long. First on the stage will be the Sam Haiman Band, a rock group founded by Wayne, NJ native Sam Haiman.

In an interview, Haiman, 22, said the band has been touring almost non-stop and is looking forward to its hour-long show, starting at 10 a.m., at the festival. Expect a bluesy form or original rock music.

“I was kind of brought up on music from an early age,” said Haiman, now living in Boston. “My first concert was Springsteen when I was about 6 years old and “Born to Run” has been my favorite album since I can remember.”

Following Haiman on stage will be Hopewell, NJ native Lauren Marsh, an award-winning singer-songwriter whose music incorporates jazz, pop and rock. She will be followed by a long performance by Stereo Junkies, a local favorite that plays popular music.

The day will end with a set by Milo Z, a New York group that blends funk, jazz, hip-hop and rock. “We were looking for a band with some soul and they are quite a combination of that,” said Kohler.

Or course, there will be the food trucks. Kohler has signed-up more than 20 of the kitchens-on-wheels. They will line the perimeter of the concert field, leaving room in-between for visitors to spread blankets and plant lawn chairs. Dogs are permitted, but outside food, coolers or knapsacks aren’t.

Admission is $5 for everybody older than 12. However, attendees are asked to help the Food Pantry by bringing one can, boxed or non-perishable food item. Do that and you get in for only $4.

The Food Pantry “was thrilled’ with the generosity of Food Truck Festival visitors in August, said Kohler. “There were a lot of money donations as well,” she said. “After this festival, they get into the harder part of the year (for those needing help) with the holidays and winter.”

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