Stephanie Page said she used to think that slavery had ended with the abolition in Abraham Lincoln’s days. When she learned that slavery is still very much alive, in the form of human trafficking, she was shocked and compelled to take action.
Speaking with KSTP, the co-founder of the Stories Foundation shared her story and admitted that most people she encounters are also shocked. They have no idea that human trafficking was happening in their own communities and cities.
The “Freedom Truck,” has three main objectives, according to its website: Awareness, Empowerment, and Programs. They describe themselves as a “Cause on Wheels,” spreading awareness about human trafficking everywhere they go and educating the public about the realities of the trafficking industry so that others will be stirred to take the first step in fighting against injustice.
The Stories Foundation has been bringing awareness to human trafficking while raising funds to help fund the "rescue and restoration of human trafficking victims through education, advocacy and micro-grants,"
Aside from dishing up delicious meals, the Freedom Truck has raised an average of $5,000 a month. That money is distributed to other community groups and organizations fighting on the front lines of the human trafficking crisis.
One such group is called Beautiful and Loved. They reach out to workers at Twin Cities strip clubs, who are often victims of human trafficking. Kjersti Bohrer runs the group and says that it can be hard reaching out to the rest of the world, “because you don't know how they are going to respond to you."
Page has big plans for the future of the Freedom Truck. She hopes to open a permanent restaurant that would have the same mission as her food truck. The restaurant could then serve as a safe place to offer employment to survivors of human trafficking as a first step to helping rebuild their lives.
The Stories Foundation website also paints a picture of this future café as one that is filled with “the aroma of freshly brewed fair trade coffee, and kindness from the people who chose with a purpose to volunteer there.”
Her inspiring vision for the café also aims to leave customers feeling encouraged and excited. She wants customers to know that their money is an investment to help “free and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking, and also raise awareness and educate on the issue.”
To learn more about the food truck and foundation, you can visit their website.