The popular History Channel show Modern Marvels featured the North Carolina Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief unit “Manna One.”
In the segment, originally aired Nov. 14, the show highlights food trucks and how Manna One can transform from an 18-wheel truck into a fully operational kitchen in about three hours. At 40-feet long, more than 8 feet wide and 24,000 pounds, the unit was described on the show as “one of the biggest food trucks ever built.”
To see the full episode of Modern Marvels go to history.com/shows/modern-marvels/videos#modern-marvels-food-trucks. (Note: Manna One coverage begins at the 12:05 minute mark in the 45-minute video.)
N.C. Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief ministry began using Manna One in 2007. The unit is one of five other mobile kitchens and a total of 80 pieces of equipment used by the group. Those pieces of equipment don’t include recovery units owned by churches and associations in the state.
But those involved in the disaster relief ministry will tell you none quite match up to the efficiency of Manna One.
“We can pull this kitchen in if we have no water, no electricity or anything,” said John Gore, N.C. Baptist Men’s incident commander for the Williamston area, in the episode.
“We can set it up and run.”
In August, Manna One fed more than 46,000 people after Hurricane Irene struck the East Coast. The disaster left more than 1 million people in the state without power.
Similar, but smaller, relief units were also used to provide meals when a deadly tornado hit Davidson and Randolph counties Nov. 16.
“We’ve responded to more disasters this year than ever before,” Gaylon Moss, director of Disaster Relief, said. “I think we’re at 19 responses right now.”
When big disasters involving hurricanes and floods strike, Manna One is often the go-to unit.
“What Manna One brought to us was an efficient mass-feeding platform that streamlined our ability to heat and serve food in a quick manner,” Moss said.
“Prior to Manna One, the system was to unload a truck, unload the trailer which is basically a warehouse on wheels, unload a trailer, we set up our stuff, and we cooked it.”
Though Manna One is a sophisticated piece of equipment, Moss pointed out the volunteers are the ones who make it run.
Setting up and tearing down usually involves a crew of 9 to 12 people.
“They’re the ones who scrub it, clean it, manage it, do all the heavy lifting,” Moss said.
“They are the ones who really make it work.”
Other highlights from the 5-minute feature include:
- At full capacity the unit can support 60 cooks and serve up to 30,000 meals a day.
- Each side of the truck unfolds to form deck areas that help create a kitchen space almost 1,000 square feet in size.
- The unit operates on a 45-kilowatt strong generator that can provide enough energy “to power up a small town.”
- 1,296 patties of meat can be cooked at one time in less than 15 minutes.
- Two automatic can openers are able to open 12 large cans of food a minute.
- To learn more about the N.C. Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief ministry you can follow them on Facebook or contact them at (800) 395-5102, ext. 5605, or baptistsonmission.org.