‘Sober-Eats’ Recovery Food Truck Creates Food for Thought
“A lady standing next to my mother and she said, I’m jealous of you. And my mother said, what do you mean? She said, your son lived mine, didn’t,” says Kevin McLaughlin.
He says, “Everybody knows somebody in recovery, but they don’t know it a lot of times because we don’t talk about it.”
On top of overcoming addiction– people in recovery also overcome a stigma. And Kevin McLaughlin is someone who wants to change that.
“I’m a person in long term recovery, which means for me, 19 years with no drugs or alcohol…And over time, I’ve had people look at me. So, Kevin, what are you in this for? Like, you’re not even in recovery. And I say, well, I’m kind of glad that you think that about me, because I don’t I don’t project this idea of that you have of what a person and recovery is. But many people don’t know that. So I want to undo that. I want to say it’s okay to talk about it,” says McLaughlin.
And what better way to get people talking– Than over a meal.
He calls it– food with a conscious. Starting “Sober-Eats” — an advocacy food truck traveling all around Michigan, bringing awareness about recovery and connecting the community to possible addiction treatments.
“Hopefully we are spreading this idea that hope will if you put hope in the mix, things can get done. The connections are unbelievable with this. We can address this, we can change this, we can provide opportunity,” says McLaughlin.
With his own personal struggles and a background as a recovery coach– Kevin wanted to give that opportunity to others in the same situation.
He says, “It’s very difficult sometimes for a person with a criminal record to get employment. I want to support them. We don’t always get hired first because of our past, you know. And so there’s some, you know, stigma, suspicion, all that stuff. And if we can change it at the bottom, boots on the ground, advocating for better treatment, more access, reduced stigma, we can do all that stuff.”
“But my goal is to have somebody come in that’s willing to do the hard work that may not have all the money to buy the trailer and make it work.
We can train them, give them recipes, have them pick the name, we can help them with licensing, we can help them with what equipment they should purchase or not purchase and help them find events…We have two couples right now we’re mentoring,” says McLaughlin.
Most of all– Kevin wants to normalize these important conversations–
He says, “Because as a result of doing this, we have had people connect at watching me cook and sharing stories. Oh, I didn’t know that resource was there. And I know somebody who can help you with living accommodations. It’s an epidemic. It’s preventable. Every single drug overdose death is preventable.”
Follow Sober-Eats on Facebook HERE.