Lafayette Food Truck Enables Paying It Forward

When you step up to Ronnie and Lauren Stelly's food truck, Catin's Eatery, you're immediately greeted by the tantalizing aroma of burgers sizzling on the blacktop grill. After placing your order with Ronnie's friendly smile, you might notice something unusual: the window is plastered with receipts, each one representing a meal paid for in advance for someone in need.

Lafayette Food Truck Enables Paying It Forward

The Stellys have implemented a pay-it-forward model that allows Lafayette residents to give back to their community by purchasing a meal for someone who might not be able to afford one. And it's a concept that's resonated with the community, as the food truck has collected over 200 pay-it-forward meals in just a single week.

A Passion for Feeding the Community

The idea to give back to the community has always been close to the Stellys' hearts.
At their previous restaurant, No Good Sons BBQ and Boil, they explored ways to donate leftover food to local pantries and soup kitchens, but food safety regulations prevented them from doing so.

Then, one day while scrolling through Facebook, Ronnie came across a restaurant's pay-it-forward model and was inspired. He and Lauren decided to give it a try, and the response was overwhelming. In just five days, customers had paid for 200 meals for those in need, with donations coming from church groups, local businesses, and individuals.

Making a Difference

The Stellys are committed to helping those in need,
and they don't ask any questions when handing out meals. They simply want to make sure that everyone has access to a nutritious meal, regardless of their circumstances.

One story that particularly stands out for Ronnie is the time they helped a mother and her children who were escaping domestic violence and living out of their car. The Stellys not only provided them with meals, but they also worked to find them temporary housing.

A Model for Others to Follow

The Stellys hope that their pay-it-forward model will inspire others to find ways to make a difference in their communities. They also hope that it will help to humanize people who are often marginalized and overlooked in society.

How to Get Involved

If you'd like to support Catin's Eatery and its pay-it-forward program, you can follow the food truck's Facebook page to keep up with their location. You can also donate digitally through their Venmo account.

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