UBCO student Emily Durkin is behind The Muck Truck social/business enterprise. (Contributed)

UBCO student Emily Durkin is behind The Muck Truck social/business enterprise. (Contributed)

UBCO student’s vegan food truck to help feed the homeless

UBCO student Emily Durkin behind food truck charity/business enterprise

A UBCO student wants her food truck project to help change lives.

Emily Durkin is ready to kick-start The Muck Truck in May with a twist – two days a month she will set up shop along Leon Street in downtown Kelowna to offer vegan food menu options for those experiencing homelessness for free.

Durkin, a third-year psychology major student at UBCO from Brampton, Ont., said it’s her initiative to address wealth inequality in Kelowna and to not let people suffering in life become a new normal.

“I think people sometimes forget that no one wants to be homeless…but sometimes people find themselves in that situation for various reasons and it becomes a downward spiral that is hard to get out of,” Durkin said.

“For me, the Muck Truck idea combines my passion for cooking and for helping people out.”

She said that empathy comes from her own childhood experience, losing her mother at age 12, and having to help out with the cooking role for her younger sister.

“I know that feeling of wondering sometimes where your next meal might be coming from,” she said.

That empathy has also been generated from her post-secondary education experience at UBCO.

“My psychology program has taught me a lot about empathy for others for sure and just educating me about things going in our world,” she said.

“I am super excited about doing this but I know nothing about running a business so this will be a learning experience.”

Durkin’s business proposition, as she hopes to make money to help offset her education expenses while employing UBCO business degree student Easton Gilowoski, and possibly a second person, has become an education lesson in itself.

She rented the food truck from an Alberta company for the summer and learned quickly the food service rules in B.C. are stricter than the prairie province, forcing her to make several modifications in her four-wheel kitchen.

She hopes to have the artwork wrap on the food truck applied within the week, after which she will have her vehicle parked for service in the Mission next to Barn Owl Brewing, 4629 Lakeshore Rd., every Sunday, starting May 2.

Other Kelowna spots you can find the Muck Truck will be outside Sandhill Winery, 1125 Richter St. in Kelowna, every Wednesday; the Vibrant Vine Winery, 3240 Pooley Rd. in Kelowna, every Thursday; and The View Winery, 2287 Ward Rd., on Saturdays.

She will be offering a vegan menu, both using her profits and a donation collection to help cover her costs to feed the homeless. She has also set up a GoFundMe donation link at https://gofund.me/dc305206.

She is working on developing vegan protein food options for the homeless to help meet likely shortfalls in their daily diet.

“What is important for me is I want to offer them a choice instead of being a hand-out, treating them as real customers, giving them options and personalizing it for them,” she said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Food

Just Posted

Quinn, left, and Adrian Van de Mosselaer are going through UBCO’s nursing program together after Quinn encouraged his brother to go back to school. (UBC Okanagan/Contributed)
UBC Okanagan student transitions from professional hockey to nursing

Adrian Van de Mosselaer credits his younger brother for the push to get him back to learning

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)
More than 40% of Central Okanagan residents have received 1st vaccine dose

Local clinics have administered 81,247 first doses to Central Okanagan residents

A GoFundMe page has been launched to alleviate the financial burden for “Captain” Kelly, a former Peachland School District bus driver who was recently diagnosed with stage three lung and lymphatic cancer. (GoFundMe.com)
Fundraiser launched for former Peachland school bus driver diagnosed with cancer

“Captain” Kelly was recently diagnosed with stage three lung and lymphatic cancer

Brenda Ware. (RCMP)
Murder charge laid against man in Kootenay National Park homicide

Philip Toner was located in Lake Country on May 11

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Vernon’s Tanya Wick, human resources VP at Tolko Industries Ltd., has been named the 2021 HR Professional of the Year by the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of British Columbia and Yukon. (CPHR BC & Yukon photo)
Okanagan resident gets top provincial award for HR excellence

Tolko’s Tanya Wick has earned the title of 2021 HR Professional of the Year

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The City of Vernon is taking a close look at six high-priority Okanagan Lake access points, including three sites along Tronson Road (pictured above) in May 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon council looking closely at Okanagan Lake access points

Six access points have been identified as ideal for recreation

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Police working to identify the two bodies found in South Okanagan

The area will see higher police presence ahead of a forensic examination

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Most Read