There's a new food truck in Austin and this one stands out from the rest. It's not your typical food truck business. This one operates as a non-profit supporting children fighting cancer.
"She would think this is the coolest thing ever," said Becky Nichols smiling standing inside of Libbie's Funtime Food Truck. She knows her daughter Libbie would be proud.
Libbie spent the majority of her little life in and out of the hospital and the Children's Blood and Cancer Center at Dell Children's fighting cancer. At the age of five she lost her battle. While she's gone she's not forgotten.
"I feel like I'm still with Libbie because we talk about her a lot. It's not just me, other people talk about her. It's absolutely amazing. I miss her very much," said Nichols.
One of the ways she gives back is through food. When tummies are full, Nichols is happy. She keeps macaroni and cheese and chicken dumplings in the clinic. When there's a reason to celebrate with a cake she makes sure one is there. Nichols closed her bakery in Westlake a couple of years ago but continued to work out of a commercial kitchen space. She did that to dedicate more time to the foundation.
"I want to feed them good food. I hope it helps them build their strength," she said.
Nichols never dreamed of running a food truck. Through the Fifth Age Man Foundation a dream she didn't know she had became a reality. After several emails and working furiously on a business plan the day after Christmas she received a check in the mail to cover the cost of a food truck.
Memories of Libbie cover the truck but it's more than just food. There is an Xbox, a karaoke machine, a few tvs, games and even a bubble machine. Nichols hopes the truck can be a much needed distraction.
Not long after getting the keys she set out to serve. With temporary tags on the truck she passed out breakfast tacos outside the Children's Blood and Cancer Center. The child life specialists go around to the families who are in the clinic that day and hand them a ticket for food. They don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or paying for it. Others who are hungry can pay for whatever she's serving.
"It's amazing. As you can imagine treatment is expensive and exhausting so having this here is a huge thing," said Priscilla White. Her son, Lance, is fighting cancer. She got some tacos from Nichols the day Lance needed a spinal tap for chemotherapy.
"I think it's great and it really makes a difference and it's fun. Every kid needs to have fun," she said.
For Nichols, it's the feedback from families that keeps her going. She knows what it was like to be in their shoes.
"I remember when we went through transplant. We would have to find food and this makes it easier," she said. "We haven't even tapped all the things we can do with this truck. It's made us exponentially better."
Nichols knows Libbie would think the colorful truck was pretty cool.
As she drives around town Nichols has a constant reminder of her daughter's love. On the dash board is the hand symbol for I love you. Nichols and her daughter would make that sign to each other each time she had to go back for surgery or any time they were saying good bye.
"People would give her things all the time and when they came to see her she would give her gifts to them and she understood the gift is in the giving," said Nichols.
Nichols hopes that companies will want to sponsor lunch or breakfast up at the clinic. The wheels will keep turning on the truck as long as there are volunteers and donations. She's even catered a wedding.