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Food truck burglarized after owner helps feed firefighters battling Eagle Creek Fire

Melissa McMillan enters her Pastrami Zombie food truck on North Mississippi Avenue in Portland.

A popular food truck on North Mississipi Avenue was burglarized this week after the owner helped feed firefighters battling the Eagle Creek Fire.

Now other Portland restaurants are coming together to help her.

The truck, Pastrami Zombie, also recently raised money for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

“My family’s from Texas so I did a fundraiser for them. It was a group effort," Melissa McMillan, Pastrami Zombie's owner, told KATU on Friday. “I always try and do something nice for the world ‘cause that’s just how my parents raised me.”

This week, thieves victimized her not once but twice.

“It’s hard. It’s a small business," McMillan said. "You’re not robbing from Walmart. You’re robbing from a little mom and pop joint.”

An Instagram post from a social media manager named Meatballs Mama shows Red Cross workers who were fed during a recent event at Mt. Hood Community College.

“It was volunteers and firemen and people who got evacuated," said McMillan.

They were treated to food from Pastrami Zombie, Katchka, Pip's Original Doughnuts and other popular Portland restaurants.

"I certainly do not deserve all the credit for the community effort going on here," McMillan said. “I just made sandwiches and sent ‘em up there.”

On Wednesday, McMillan made what she calls a "bummer" of a discovery. Someone broke into her personal truck.

"I got the window smashed out of that and then the next day I came to work and my food truck was broken into," McMillan explained.

She said equipment, money and computers were stolen. Portland police told KATU it amounted to more than $880 in cash and belongings.

McMillan reached out to her foodie friends.

"I don’t ask for help very often," she said, "and I literally texted that morning and I was, like, ‘Guys, I've been giving away so much free food and so much labor. I don’t ask for help but can you guys help me?’"

And help they did.

Other restaurants told their social media followers to patronize Pastrami Zombie in the spirit of community not competition.

“Go to Red Sauce Pizza ‘cause they blew me up as well as Pip's Doughnuts and that meant the world to me," McMillan said. "And so did Meatballs Mama on Instagram.”

So far there are no reports of any arrests.

Pip's Doughnuts said if you buy anything from Pastrami Zombie now through Sunday, Sept. 10, and show them a receipt, they'll give you a dozen doughnuts for free.


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