Tampa Bay area man shows appreciation to essential workers through Lunch For Heroes

Patrick Rhodes has a heart of gold. He gives his time to show appreciation to essential workers. 

"I have two jobs, and I'm able to squeeze in time to give back," said Rhodes. "I think we can all set aside an hour or so to reach back to our community." 

Two years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Rhodes decided he wanted to do something for essential workers. 

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He bought pizzas and delivered them on his lunch break. He gave away 600 pies.

"My passion is giving back and just getting out and talking to the people in the community, telling them how much I appreciate what they do and what they bring to the community. You know, makes me smile, makes me happy," Rhodes said. 

The effort was so important to Rhodes he started the "Lunch For Heroes" campaign. This year, Rhodes is providing meals for staff in Hillsborough County schools. 

"I just see it as waking up each day as an opportunity to give back," he said. "I know it's an opportunity to bring smile to somebody, you know. So that's how I see it, you know?"  

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Rhodes recently made a special delivery to those at Tampa Bay Elementary. 

"When he comes out like that to give us breakfast, we're just like, ‘wow, thank you,’" said Christina Paz, a teacher at the school. "You know, we appreciate that. We're we're being seen, we're being considered, and we're being appreciated. And it means a lot." 

For Rhodes, it's just the right thing to do. 

"I just always, you know, start my day off thinking about how I can help. You know, either someone in my family or someone in my community," he explained. 

Rhodes gets his meals from donations from area businesses, and he is working on starting his own foundation. For more information, visit www.patrickthegiver.com.