Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Vikings Table Food Truck Celebrates 5 Years of Serving Minnesotans

EAGAN, Minn. – The Minnesota Vikings Foundation is celebrating a major milestone in a big way.

June 13 marks five years since Vikings Table powered by Xcel Energy was launched by the Minnesota Vikings Foundation. The self-sustaining food truck model was designed with the mission of serving healthy meals and providing nutrition education to youth across the Greater Twin Cities area, and its impact since 2019 has been undeniable.

Over the past five years, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vikings Table has distributed more than 65,000 meals to youth and families in need.

"We're thrilled to have a great partner like Xcel Energy powering the Minnesota Vikings Foundation Vikings Table food truck," said Minnesota Vikings Foundation Executive Director Brett Taber. "Xcel Energy makes it possible for us to have the resources we need to go and support the community by giving back to the individuals and youth in our community that truly need these nutritious meals and nutrition education the most."

"Five years ago, we could only imagine the type of impact we could have with the Vikings Table food truck," Taber added. "To look back now, to think of the stories of the lives we've impacted, it truly is meaningful."

Xcel Energy Regional Vice President John Marshall expressed similar sentiments about the food truck's purpose and multi-year influence in the Twin Cities.

"We're really proud at Xcel Energy of the impact the food truck has delivered," Marshall said. "There's a lot of need in the community. There are a lot of families and kids that need food, and that really was ultimately at the roots of how this whole effort was created. It's a great partnership between the Vikings and Xcel Energy, but really it's about serving the community.

"At the end of the day, Xcel Energy truly is about the communities that we serve. It's about our customers and our businesses; it's about the residential customers that we have, our families," Marshall continued. "Our customers rely on us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for the energy they need for their lives and their livelihoods. … Vikings Table is a really important opportunity to continue [those] relationships."

To celebrate the momentous occasion, it seemed only fitting that Vikings Table spent last week connecting with community members and giving back in a variety of ways.

Hall of Fame Vikings Legend John Randle helped kick off the festivities last Monday by teaming up with Xcel Energy employees to pack 1,000 drawstring bags for neighboring community members.

Hall of Fame Vikings Legend John Randle and Xcel Energy employees packed 1,000 bags to distribute to neighboring community members.

The group packed 600 Summer Essential Kits, which included a Vikings drawstring bag, snacks, bottled water, SPF lip balm, a poncho, bandages, antibiotic ointment and socks. They assembled an additional 400 Kids Activity Kits that featured a mini Vikings football, bookmark, Vikings activity book and colored pencils.

"It's so much fun. I'm trying to make sure I do it all in order – only put in one pair of socks. sometimes I'm putting in two pairs of socks, and my hands are like boxing gloves, so I'm trying to sort it out," Randle laughed. "But no, it's really fun to be doing this and giving back to our community. And especially doing this as a Vikings Legend.

"I tell people all the time, 'Football [players], we're not just all about football, hitting, this and that. It's about giving back to our communities,' " Randle added. "Our communities are our fans. They're the people who are around us, that we're a part of. I think Tony Dungy said it best, that success, or winning, it's not just all about the game. Success is winning in our communities. And this is a great way to give back, to show our appreciation to the people of Minnesota. It warms your heart to be a part of this."

Randle is not only impacted as a father of two himself, but he also recalls days as a youngster when his family couldn't afford food for balanced meals.

"I would have a cookie for dinner sometimes," he said. "I think it really helps you when you have a full belly to focus on other things [besides being hungry] – you can focus on doing homework, you can focus on [exercising] – you don't have to be concerned about looking for that meal.

"It takes a burden off the parents to have this, and I'm just so appreciative of what the Vikings are doing," Randle added. "It's a wonderful thing."

After bags were packed Monday by Randle and the other volunteers, they were distributed throughout the week, along with meals, to different community partners.

Vikings Table on Tuesday served 150 lunches at YouthLink to young people experiencing homelessness. On Wednesday, 400 pre-packaged meals were delivered to The Sanneh Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Chef Ryan Moyer has been working with Vikings Table over much of the past five years. He emphasized the importance of providing meals and imparting nutrition education to nonprofits, families and individual youth – especially considering there is an increased need for daytime meals during summer months.

"I don't know if everybody does that good of a job [with the education piece]. What we see on TV and everything else, we're not always promoting the healthiest foods [as a society]," Moyer explained. "So if we can help youth understand and show them what healthy food is, and we can make it fun and they like it, it's great."

Moyer's notes were put into action Thursday, when Vikings Table visited Dayton's Bluff Elementary School during its field day and delivered Smart Energy Snacks powered by Xcel Energy to 275 students and 75 school staff members.

The Vikings Table food truck visited Dayton's Bluff Elementary School during its June 6 field day and delivered Smart Energy Snacks powered by Xcel Energy to 275 students and 75 school staff members.

"It's important for healthy communities and healthy families to have good nutrition," Marshall said. "It's important for brain health, it's important for them to grow, and it's important for overall community. … We work closely with our communities on STEM education, on workforce and diversity, so really getting out to our communities [to support] some of the most fundamental needs, like food [security] and nutrition, is super important – and I know Xcel Energy shares that value with the Vikings."

Vikings Table capped off the week with "Fresh Friday" at Community Emergency Services in Minneapolis, where more than 150 community members in need received nutritious food.

"I think it's pretty amazing to see how many people we're feeding around the city," Moyer said. "You go home and see your own kids and know you're making a difference in the lives of others who maybe don't have the same opportunities."

As the Vikings and Xcel Energy reflect on the tremendously instrumental role the Vikings Table food truck program has played in supporting Minnesota families over the past five years, they are simultaneously grateful and even more greatly motivated.

"We've been blessed to have tremendous involvement from our entire organization – from the Wilf family, to [Head] Coach Kevin O'Connell, all the way down to our players like (former RB) Dalvin Cook or Harrison Phillips, who have been able to provide not only their time and energy but also financial resources to give back to this program and help change the lives of kids forever," Taber said. "We're thrilled with the past five years we've had with Vikings Table, and we're excited for the future, for what the next five years will bring."