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Vegas' homeless get meal, encouragement from traveling food truck ministry

A local couple has been serving gourmet meals – made to order – for the past two years around the valley.

The catch? None of their customers has to pay.

On Saturday morning at Tonopah Park in North Las Vegas, there were pancakes fresh off the griddle, eggs and a side of hash browns – all served from a mobile food truck.

"I think it's the best thing to hit Vegas since gambling," said Marques Johnson, a Goodness Gracious Ministries customer.

The ministry uses the food truck to rotate around the city, serving meals from breakfast to lunch to dinner.

"We have great teriyaki chicken sometimes. great pancakes, grilled cheese, hamburgers," Johnson said.

Some customers line up daily.

"We just want people to know that people out here still care about them," said Brian Bland, who has been working with his wife, Jenny, in the food truck ministry for two years. Some of their volunteers come from other states to help out for days at a time.

Bland knows his food may be the only meal for many of his customers each day.

The inspiration to start the food truck ministry came a few years ago when the couple were in Las Vegas for their daughter's wedding.

"My husband came to me and said, 'I think we are supposed to move to Vegas and start a feeding ministry and start a food truck,' and I'm like. ‘What?’ ” Jenny said with a laugh. "My husband drove down, I think, Owens Avenue and his heart just broke."

They prayed about the revelation, and a few months later they were raising money, opening the truck and serving the homeless.

"God just provides," they said.

With each meal, also comes words of encouragement.

That's the reason Johnson said he now has plans lined up to soon get off the streets.

"I've been inspired by them," he said.

A true "goodness gracious" moment.

A nonprofit, the Goodness Gracious food truck and its volunteers serve three meals a day to the homeless at locations all around the valley.

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