Chuck Jacob had barely walked a foot away from his freshly painted sign before cars began to stop along the side of the road.
No wonder – turns out free food is a popular commodity.
Jacob, the owner of Jake’s Towing in Boutte, recently gave away 800 50-pound cases of Idaho potatoes, after some fortunate happenstance brought the potato windfall into his possession.
“It kind of caused a traffic jam,” Jacob said with a chuckle. “I took a sign from my shop and put “free potatoes” on it, and before I even walked away from it, people were stopping. People were coming with pickup trucks and said they were going to get them to people in need. It was a whole lot of potatoes.”
Jake’s Towing was to unload a truck as part of a job for a company shipping the potatoes. That company called Jacob with a specific problem: an issue arose with the truck after its initial departure and the frozen potatoes thawed out.
“They had a problem with the truck and after the potatoes defrost, you can’t refreeze them,” Jacob said. “There was nothing wrong with them, but they couldn’t process them. So, they called me. We do a lot of recovery. We took them out of the fridge truck, took ‘em all out. They had to get them dispersed, so they gave them to us.”
Jacob said in addition to the people who collected their new potato bounty, he reached out to several churches and food centers that could use a boost to help the needy.
“It was pretty awesome,” Jacob said. “It was fun to be able to do that for people and we felt really good about it.”