Community Rallies to Help Planet Vegan Owner Burned in Explosion
A GoFundMe campaign to help the co-owner of a popular Fresno food truck recover from burns sustained in an explosion Friday has raised nearly $40,000 as of 9 a.m. Tuesday.
And the help is expected to grow substantially. Nearly 30 local food trucks at six venues will donate a portion of their proceeds on Thursday evening to help Joe Ellis, who suffered second-degree burns over 35% of his body.
“From my side of things, we work with food trucks every day and know how a simple thing like a flat tire or broken axle can affect a business,” says Fresno Street Eats President Mike Osegueda. “Something like this explosion sends a shockwave through a business and its employees. Our goal is to help (Planet Vegan) take care of things over the next few weeks before the insurance kicks in.
“Aside from all the trauma, people need to know how they’re going to be able to live their lives.”
Our friends Planet Vegan’s food trailer exploded last week, an unthinkable tragedy for a small biz.
Today @fresnostreeteat is announcing a fundraiser that will encompass six venues on Thursday night and include almost 30 local trucks donating a portion of their sales. pic.twitter.com/rd8KTIiddc
— Mike Oz (@mikeoz) June 28, 2022
Fundraising Goal Is $600K
Friends and family have set a goal of raising $6000,000 to help Ellis with medical care and business losses.
“Joe has a long road to recovery ahead & your donations will go to help with medical expenses, damages caused by the explosion including the loss of the truck,” organizers posted on the GoFundMe page.
“Joe loves his business Planet Vegan and the people he worked with, he dedicated himself on the truck to serve people plant-based food and creating change to his community. He is grateful for the love and support received during this time. We are blessed and thankful that he is alive. We ask that you guys keep him, his family, and everyone else affected by this on behalf of Joe in your thoughts and prayers.”
According to family and friends, Ellis will undergo multiple surgeries this week at the Community Regional Medical Center burn center.
Fresno Fire Department investigators have yet to identify the cause of the explosion. The truck was at the Chevron station on the northeast corner of Shaw Avenue and First Street when it blew up, injuring Ellis and a 14-year-old boy who was nearby. A GoFundMe account for the child is at this link.
Food Truck Venues
The food trucks participating in the effort to help Ellis will be at these locations: The Well, at Maple and Nees avenues; Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden, 745 Fulton Street; Crow & Wolf Brewing Company, 526 Spruce Ave., in Clovis; Gazebo Gardens, 3204 N. Van Ness Blvd.; the Kingsburg Farmers Market, Memorial Park, Sierra Street and 18th Avenue, Kingsburg; and Table Mountain Casino, 8184 Table Mountain Rd, in Friant.