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'A blessing:' Billings food truck giving food to the unhoused every Sunday

HOMELESS EATING
Posted at 6:57 PM, Jul 07, 2024

A Billings food truck called The Snack Attack is handing out free food to the unhoused population every Sunday.

The tradition has been going on for four years, and first started when owner Debbie Patterson was working for the Montana Rescue Mission and saw how desperately the residents needed stable food.

"I think it all started from the Rescue Mission," Patterson said Sunday afternoon. "After COVID, it was just really clear that these people didn't have anywhere to eat on Sundays. We just decided to step up and feed them."

Patterson works closely with local churches in Billings, who donate food and clothing to The Snack Attack, which are then handed out every Sunday at 4 p.m. right next to Saint Vincent DePaul on First Avenue South.

Handing out Clothes

"We couldn't do it without the help of our sponsors," Patterson said. "I think just knowing you made a difference is amazing."

That impact is easy to see in the residents that line up for food. Brien Steele and Joseph Muniz were among the many taking advantage Sunday. Both said it's appreciated in an otherwise difficult life.

"It's rough. It's really rough," Steele said of being homeless. "All we're trying to do is survive and make ends meat but it's hard."

Muniz added that the chance at recieving clothing and a warm meal can make a huge difference.

"It's tough, especially being homeless," Muniz said. "I have a job but it's hard. Most of us don't have clothes, don't have nothing. I'm trying to get off the streets."

Steele said that the frequent visits from the Snack Attack are one of the highlights of his week.

"Sometimes, you can't get a hot meal, or maybe clean clothes or even a shower," Steele said. "It's hard being like that, but without these guys, a lot of us would have nothing."

Patterson said both Steele and Muniz are prime examples of what made her want to start the Snack Attack in the first place.

HOMELESS EATING

"I just had this burning desire in my hear that the lord gave me that this is what I needed to do," Patterson said. "When people tell me their stories and they're horrific, that really leaves a mark on my soul or spirit."

Patterson said she can get overwhelmed with emotions at times, even struggling to come up with the words.

"It’s amazing that you’ve met a need," Patterson said. "Especially when they’re just so emotional they haven’t had anything to eat all day. I can’t describe it."

And while she perhaps can't describe it, those that she is serving certainly can.

"I feel like I'm getting blessed, you know?" Muniz said. "I don't know why, but it feels good."

"We can always count on them because they show up and they're always here," Steele said. "It's like clockwork and them being here all of the time is a blessing."