Rob McBride sees the gaps in food security for Courtenay’s homeless on a daily basis.
McBride and his son operate the Phat Parrot food truck in the parking lot of the former Courtenay Car Centre on 5th Street, and while he provides food for purchase, he also wanted to do something for those who cannot purchase food on a regular basis.
Nearly every day, McBride said he encounters those who are under-housed, either across the way at Simms Millennium Park or nearby trying to find a place to sleep in the parking lot.
He has a good relationship with those nearby and decided he wanted to do something to help. Earlier this month, he along with the assistance of neighbouring food truck Churro Chica, provided hot dogs, fries and churros for those who needed a meal.
“I’ve lived in cities and homelessness is everywhere … but we have to remember they are just like us. Just a small act like that, and you could just see the smiles on their faces and the thank yous.”
With the cold weather and the holiday season nearing, he decided to make the 2 p.m. Sunday lunch a tradition for the month of December.
He reached out to Islands West Produce who donated 50 pounds of potatoes, and he is contacting grocery stories to see if he can find a supplier for hot dogs and buns. The first time out – Dec. 6 – the demand was small, but he hopes the word spreads so that he can reach as many people as possible.
“We’re so blessed … and it’s a good time of the year to help others out.”