Penticton woman giving back with a hearty meal

Jas Garib hosting annual mid-day meal in the parking lot of a Penticton business.

Marlene Laurie makes a sandwich at the Fairview Grocery store with Jas Garib watching on. Garib is once again planning her annual free lunch on Aug. 31 at the store parking lot as a way of giving back to the less fortunate in the community.

Marlene Laurie makes a sandwich at the Fairview Grocery store with Jas Garib watching on. Garib is once again planning her annual free lunch on Aug. 31 at the store parking lot as a way of giving back to the less fortunate in the community.

Who says there no such thing as a free lunch?

Jas Garib will once again this year do her part to dispel that myth when she hosts her annual mid-day meal in the parking lot of Fairview Grocery on Aug. 31.

“I’m East Indian so we believe in the seva, (selfless giving to humanity) and it’s like you give back to the community and this is the same type of thing,” said Garib, who began the tradition on her daughter Krystal’s birthday after she moved away from home. “It’s to help people who perhaps are on the street. I also have a very special place in my heart for people who have a mental illness and there’s a whole lot of things happening and I see them wandering on the street so I want to help them.”

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the store, those who stop buy can get a meat or vegetarian sandwich and a piece of cake at no charge.

“I have a neighbour right now whose son is on the street and there’s days when he’s hungry and thirsty so I hear stories like that all the time and this year I thought, well, I’ll put this out to the community,” said Garib. “I do this every year and food gets wasted because I usually make enough for  200 people and maybe only 40 or 50 turn out.

“I want people to come eat and enjoy and celebrate my daughter’s birthday with me, it’s all about giving back to the community because I know there are a lot of people on the streets who could use a hardy meal.”

She eventually hopes to make the free lunch a weekly gift to those in need.

Fairview Grocery is located at 1196 Fairview Rd.