Jill Pennefather on ‘Food On The Corner’

Testimonial from Rotarian, Jill Pennefather, on how helping those in need has been a wonderful experience. 

The first group I joined after becoming a Rotarian in 2018 was “Food on the Corner”. It was an opportunity for me to provide aid first hand to my fellow Vancouverites who are not as lucky as I.

Before becoming a realtor, I’d been a RN in VGH Emergency  for 19 years, during which time I loved getting to know the challenged that people who, for whatever reason, just couldn’t fit in with what we deem as regular society.

The vast majority were addicts of some sort, some had had very successful careers, great educations, but fell on hard times leading to a life where they lost everything and had to learn to exist as best they could on the eastside.  I learned very quickly never to judge anyone. Everyone has a story to tell that we do well by listening to. For example, we once  had a famed Neuro Surgeon admitted after spending over 3 months on skid road.

At ‘Food on the Corner’ we serve a lot of people who have little funds at their disposal. Some of the people are very chatty, some are angry, some high on whatever their choice substance. They are people from all walks of life. Unfortunately, most wander off after being served a healthy lunch. Very few stay around so it’s difficult to hear their stories but I love giving a small helping hand and wishing them a nice day! 

The group that makes all this happen are amazing volunteers who make the soup and sandwiches, others who pick up supplies from various grocery stores, and even more who pick up the food up and soup, sandwiches etc. and deliver it to our spot on Main Street every Saturday. Our Rotary Club of Vancouver helps one Saturday per month. As a relatively new Rotarian, I feel fortunate to help by serving the food with them!

-Jill Pennefather

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