'Choose a meal, no questions asked:' Nokomis food truck helps feed community

Tina Russo works to serve up good food along with a side of hope. Her food truck, So Frito Latin Street Food, is becoming a known spot in Nokomis. 

"I always dreamed of owning a food truck," she said. 

Russo kept that dream alive after graduating from culinary school in Chicago. She and her fiancé, Jorge Caraballo, made it a reality in June. 

"I started learning how to make Puerto Rican food about a year after we started dating and I just really fell in love with it. He grew up eating it and it was a perfect match. And ‘So Frito’ was born," explained Tina. 

After weathering the pandemic and mechanical issues, Tina wanted to give back to the community. A restaurant in Los Angeles inspired her mission. 

"I fell in love with it," Russo shared. "I thought it was a phenomenal idea and we implemented it right away." 

Right next to her specials board is a board she calls ‘Neighbors helping Neighbors.’ It's filled with tickets of pre-purchased meals for anyone in need. 

"If you are hungry you don’t need to be. Please come by. Don’t feel shy. We won’t ask you anything. Just come by, hand us a ticket and we’ll give you some food," she explained. 

Tina and her fiancé started the board with 10 tickets; from there, the community joined in. 

"People are really excited about it. We’ve got a lot of ‘thank yous’ for doing it and just way more support than I could have ever imagined," said Tina. 

Each ticket contains more than just a meal. Tina draws a heart and includes a message of hope. 

"I think it’s fantastic. We need more love and empathy and things like this in the world," said customer Courtney Thomas. 

Just like one of her messages, "be the change you wish to see," one couple and their food truck are already changing hearts by filling tummies. 

"Even if it just gives somebody an hour of hope. Sometimes it just takes one little positive spin on your day to change things completely around," Russo added. 

‘So Frito Latin Street Food’ is located at 1011 S. Tamiami Trail, Nokomis. They are open Wednesday through Sunday.

LINK: For more information visit: https://sofritofoodtruck.com.


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