DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Preston Oaks shopping center in North Dallas was one of the areas hardest hit by Sunday’s tornadoes. But part of that center is back to life, at least for a few days, thanks to a mobile kitchen from Central Market/H-E-B. It’s one of three mobile kitchens that the company rolls out when disaster strikes.
“We can pretty much pull up in the middle of anywhere and be ready to start cooking in about an hour,” says crew chef Bill Mosley.
This time the community in need is close to home. Central Market anchored Preston Oaks and sustained massive damage Sunday. So what they’re serving is more than food.
“We’re hurting, because obviously our store has been decimated, but their homes have been decimated,” said Mabrie Jackson with Central Market/H-E-B. “This is just a time that we can all spend together, give each other hugs, just listen to each other, because we’re all sharing in the grief right now.”
Neighbors, first responders, and cleanup crews can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner through Saturday for free. Bags of cleaning supplies are also available for residents. They say it’s just one example of the outpouring they’ve seen when they needed it the most.
“We still don’t have electricity, and we don’t have water, either, so it’s great to be able to get a hot meal and see all these people that are volunteering to help,” said Charlotte Barto.
“All I know is they’re here, and nobody asked them to be. They just thought it was the right thing to do,” said Joseph Kittrell.
“It’s just a great feeling,” said Mosley. “The people appreciate it so much. I can’t tell you how many hugs I get out on a disaster.”
The mobile kitchen will serve breakfast from 8-10 a.m., lunch from 12-2 p.m. and dinner from 4-6 p.m. Any food that’s leftover will be donated to a food bank.