Grounded Cafe to launch accessible food truck
By Josh Staloch
GREEN BAY – Grounded Cafe has made a name for itself by bringing employees with disabilities to the front of the house, taking orders, making coffee and whatever else they need to do on a given day.
Now, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund, Grounded Cafe will put some of those employees out in the community with a new accessible food truck.
“Here at the ADRC and Grounded Cafe, a cafe attached to the Aging & Disability Resource Center building on Adams Street in Green Bay, we’ve had some big dreams, changing how people see people, all people, no matter how old or what abilities they have, what color they may be, what social class they may be in,” ADRC Director Devon Christianson said. “For years, we’ve been hearing from our customers about high unemployment rates for persons with disabilities, as well as about the power of systemic ageism and discrimination that impacts people finding employment. We wanted to use the social innovation model within our nutrition program to create a new space where everyone belongs, abilities are celebrated and our community can gather.”
Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach said the truck will be the first of its kind in Wisconsin and one of only four in the nation.
Scheduled for construction in 2022, it will be wider than an average food truck to accommodate employees’ needs.
It will have a ramp and everything inside will be accessible to employees of all abilities.
“I think, from a societal standpoint, a community standpoint, we know that we’re giving individuals who historically did not have the opportunity to be part of the workforce, purpose in life,” Streckenbach said. “When we think about inclusion, diversity, these are critical aspects that allow us, as a community, to really be welcoming. This $100,000 that we’re going to be receiving is going to go a really long way and as we see the food industry changing right before our eyes, we realize that, in order for us to continue our mission, we need to take our show on the road.”