The Frugalista Life

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Datz’s Jaimes Fredlund spends his off-days feeding Ybor’s homeless community

Do you ever really know what your co-workers are doing when they leave work? Me either. Yes, we get a preview via social media, but does that tell the whole story? During the day, Jaimes Fredlund is assistant kitchen manager at Datz in South Tampa but he feeds the homeless in Ybor City with his wife Johanna. How’s that for a switch-up?

More about Jaimes:

Thursdays are what Datz Tampa’s assistant kitchen manager, Jaimes Fredlund, looks forward to every week. It means he can rush home after a long day in the kitchen crafting Willy Wonka-esque dishes to do a little good for others. Community service isn’t new to him, growing up as a boy scout, one of Fredlund’s favorite things to do was assist his elderly neighbors with painting their houses.

“We did a lot of helping out in the community. You do it because you like it and it makes you feel good inside,” he says. 

He makes the drive from South Tampa to Ybor City where he and his wife Johanna have spent the last couple months feeding the homeless at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, located at 1711 E. 11th Ave. 

“We live in Ybor City, so we’ll go out and walk by Centennial Park. We’ll see [the homeless] gathered around out there and we wanted to do something about it,” Fredlund tells CL.

The occasion is more of a potluck situation, with the hungry crowd ranging between 30-50, the volunteers all bring a dish hefty enough to serve to as many as possible. One of Fredlund’s first dishes was a family recipe of chicken and yellow rice — which ended up being a huge hit and inspiring the volunteers to get creative each week, planning their side dishes according to what “entree” Fredlund is cooking up. 

Find out more about his community service here. Anyone can volunteer to serve at OLPH btw.

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