Food Trucks Serve Up Help for Kids in South Lake Union

SOUTH LAKE UNION – Seattle's food trucks are getting behind underserved kids and families in the South Lake Union and Cascade neighborhoods, dishing up a helping of much-needed support for an after-school education and homework program. Throughout February, residents, employees and others in Seattle's burgeoning global technology and health sciences research hub who visit participating food trucks for lunch can make a donation to the SLU-Cascade Youth Enrichment Program, a program of the South Lake Union Community Council.

Hot Dog Kings Jessica Hovater (left) and Salvator Savago rallied South Lake Union's food trucks in support of a youth education program in the neighborhood. Photo:  Mike McQuaid

"It's really important that kids have an opportunity to have access to help with school and a safe and nurturing environment to be in after school," said Jessica Hovater, who along with her partner Salvatore Savago serve up everything from Polish sausage to Louisiana hot links to the on-the-go lunch crowd at The Hot Dog King on the corner of Westlake and Harrison Streets.

With a clear need for programs typically found through elementary schools and community centers – both absent in South Lake Union, Hovater and Savago rallied the neighborhood’s food trucks behind the effort.

"Just the idea that there isn't anything available in South Lake Union breaks my heart. I've run into that trying to bring our own kids down to work," Hovater said.

Filling an important education-gap for families and elementary school-aged kids 3–13, primarily in neighboring Cascade, the community program will offer structured homework help, education materials and nutritious meals to kids between school hours and when their parents arrive home from work.

"The food truck community and a local mother in South Lake Union approached the community council with the idea of helping the neighborhood. Quite frankly we were hungry for the enthusiasm behind educational support in South Lake Union," said Mike McQuaid, president of the South Lake Union Community Council which unanimously endorsed the project at its February meeting. "The idea is as innovative as the neighborhood that it serves."

With a modest goal of $500, donations will help the effort qualify for matching grants from the City of Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods and others to fund the program that will kick-off this spring.

"This is our neighborhood," Hovater said. "We've watched the first Amazon buildings go up. We've watched the neighborhood grow. It's important for us as a community to help fill the gaps and participate in the growth of our city.”

To find your favorite food truck in Seattle or to learn more about this growing segment of the hospitality industry visit

About The South Lake Union Community Council

The recognized South Lake Union neighborhood leadership organization by the City of Seattle, the South Lake Union Community Council is the steward of the SLU neighborhood plan and collaboratively with community stakeholders authored the SLU Urban Design Framework and the SLU / Uptown Mobility Plan. The South Lake Union Community Council meets monthly (4 – 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month) at the Museum of History and Industry in South Lake Union. To learn more visit

Participating South Lake Union Food Trucks

The Hot Dog King Open: Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri. (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Location: Corner of Westlake and Harrison (next to Firestone)

Now Make Me A Sandwich Open:  Mon., Wed., Fri. (11 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.) Location:  Corner of Terry and Thomas Streets

Caravan Crepes Open:  Fri. (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Location:  Corner of Westlake and Harrison (in front of the Aveda)

Buddha Bruddah Open:  Mon., Tues., Thurs. (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Location:  Monday, Friday:  Corner of Westlake and Harrison Tuesday, Thursday:  219 Terry Ave. North

Lumpia World Open:  Tues. (11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.) Location:  Corner of Westlake and Harrison