There’s a new BBQ food truck doing the rounds in the Tri-Cities and it’s already getting rave reviews.
Serving up pulled pork sandwiches, beef chilli, penne pasta and other sizzling treats, the Phoenix Flame BBQ food truck is hitting the road in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.
But what’s different about this restaurant on wheels is that it serves meals for free to registered users of the food bank run by Share Family and Community Services.
The mobile kitchen has been on the road since January and this week, it got its first review.
A handwritten note taped to the window of the flaming orange food truck says all you need to know.
“Thank you very much for coming into [the] Port Coquitlam Food Bank. It is very kind of you and your food is delicious,” wrote satisfied customer Elizabeth.
In a social media post, the Phoenix Society wrote while “recognition is not what we do at Phoenix, it sure felt good to find this note at Port Coquitlam Food Bank after doing an @PhxFlameBBQ free meal service.”
The Phoenix Flame BBQ is a 16-foot food truck, providing free community meals to those who are underserved, homeless or at risk of homelessness. The operation has capacity serve up to 100 meals per day (lunch or dinner) several times per week.
It made its first stop on in January at Share Society’s Port Moody food bank, serving roughly 100 clients as they picked up their food hampers.
The program has visited Share Society food banks in Tri-Cities 15 times since the program launched, and are back at the Coquitlam location twice in September. Typically the food bank shows up on Wednesdays, when hampers are handed out.
(The food truck is shared with Surrey so it doesn't appear every Wednesday in the Tri-Cities and those seeking a free meal need to be a registered client with Share and will get a ticket for a meal when they pick up their food hamper).
To date, Phoenix’s Mobile Community Kitchen has served more than 7,000 free meals to those in need in the Tri-Cities, Surrey and Abbotsford.
“It’s incredible to see this project get underway, and to see the overwhelming support behind it,” said Keir Macdonald, CEO of Phoenix Society.
“Everyone deserves a hot meal and we are thrilled to be able to help feed those in need during what is a very hard time for us all. Giving back and building community, connection and hope is what we are all about at Phoenix.”
Share Family and Community Services is also pretty excited about the partnership.
In a tweet, Share CEO Claire MacLean says the unique food truck program is making a difference in people’s lives.
“Love the dignity, happiness and compassion this collaboration between @Phoenix_Society and @ShareSociety brings our community members.”
The food truck is supported by several sponsors and funding partners, including the Envision Financial Community Endowment with First West Foundation, Reaching Home, Second Harvest Canada and the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society, as well as the province of B.C.
Phoenix Society is looking for new funding partners to ensure the continued operation of the free meal program.
For more information or to donate, you're encouraged to visit the website.