Provided/Members of the public line up at the Let’s Chow food truck outside The Branches Outreach Center in Rio Grande.

CAPE MAY COURTHOUSE – Students of Atlantic Cape Community College’s Academy of Culinary Arts program are getting a first-hand look and hands-on experience in conducting professional mobile food operations by taking their talents into the community in the college’s Let’s Chow food truck.

As the first part of a community outreach initiative, eight culinary students enrolled in the Mobile Retail Food Operations module at Atlantic Cape’s Cape May County campus, visited The Branches Outreach Center in Rio Grande on March 2 to provide freshly-cooked meals for local elderly, homeless and marginalized individuals and families in the county.

“It is the goal of Atlantic Cape Community College and the Academy of Culinary Arts program to provide our students with an invaluable real world educational experience in Cape May County,” Cape May campus Operations Manager W. Shane Ritchie said.

The Let’s Chow food truck ( has been utilized since March 2022 as a tool to teach culinary arts students about mobile food operations. Accompanied by ACA Chef Instructor Peter Gingerelli, the Cape May County campus module runs through March 27 and will visit several locations throughout the county, while providing the students with real world experience in mobile food service management.

From left, Theresa Mascione, Program Director, The Branches Outreach; Atlantic Cape Chef Instructor Peter Gingerelli; ACA Student Anthony Love; Maria Elena Hallion, Executive Director, The Branches Outreach; ACA Student Chris Panelli; Sandra Lockhart, Operations Director, The Branches Outreach; ACA Student Kennith Coloma and ACA Student Kyle Quirk.

The eight ACA students are divided into two teams and focus on creating regional barbecue styles of Southern cuisine for their student generated menus. As part of the Mobile Food Operations Module, the ACA students are developing individual food menus, a business plan and service strategy.

The food truck will also be stopping at Cape Regional Physicians Associates in Cape May Court House on March 7, Lazarus House in Wildwood on March 8, Cape May County Administrative Offices in Cape May Court House (Health/Education/Prosecutors/Sheriff) on March 21, Cape May County Commons in Rio Grande (CMC Veterans Administration/VA Clinic/Social Services/Dept. of Aging/Family Services) on March 23 and, with any remaining food supplies in stock, Atlantic Cape’s Cape May County campus on March 27.

“It has been a great community outreach program and the groups have been very grateful,” campus Director Krista Fitzsimons said. “It is a good day at work when you get a small group of people to do great things! Thank you to all involved.”


Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.