WICHITA — The Lord’s Diner is debuting its second food truck on Wednesday and – unexpectedly – it’ll be fully paid for.
Physician Shaker Dakhil read an April Have You Heard? column about the success of the first Lord’s Diner food truck and how the nonprofit planned a second one for Friendship Park in the Hilltop neighborhood.
Dakhil called the Lord’s Diner and said he’d like to buy a third truck to help the organization feed the homeless and hungry.
“He can’t stand the thought of hungry children,” says Lord’s Diner director Jan Haberly.
She told Dakhil that the nonprofit couldn’t start thinking of a third truck until it pays for the second one. So Dakhil and his wife, Kathie, donated $115,000 for the truck and some supplies since, as Dakhil says, “Metal doesn’t feed people.”
The money was going to come from the Lord’s Diner general fund. Haberly says the donation “actually frees up that money to secure the food for all that we’re doing.”
Two diners and a truck serve about 1,200 people a day. Haberly anticipates the daily average will jump by at least 300 if not 400 more people a day.
“I always said I wanted to open my own restaurant for the homeless,” Dakhil says.
Dakhil, an oncologist who is president of the Cancer Center of Kansas, says the center has satellite centers to treat patients closer to where they live, and he says he appreciates that the Lord’s Diner practices the same concept.
“Take the food where the hungry people are,” he says.
“God has provided us quite a bit, so we’d love to share it back with the community,” Dakhil says.
He says America is blessed, too.
“We still have hungry people. It shouldn’t happen.”
Dakhil is a bit of a foodie.
“I pretend to be,” he says. “I love good-tasting food.”
Dakhil has a lot of friends in the restaurant business.
“They dread it because I always have an opinion about the dish.”
He says he wants to inspire some of those friends with his donation. Dakhil says he hopes his restaurant friends start donating food to the Lord’s Diner.
If the Lord’s Diner expands with a third food truck, Dakhil says he’s open to supporting that as well.
“We’re going to be very cautious on how soon we expand again,” Haberly says. “But if there’s hungry people, especially hungry kids, we don’t say, ‘No,’ very easily.”