This food truck is serving up free burritos, wrapped in community kindness, to people in need.
The Share A Meal food truck, run by nonprofit Khalsa Peace Corps, gives out hot burritos to homeless people around Los Angeles five days a week. Volunteers make anywhere from 150 to 250 burritos per night, volunteer Alejandro Garcia told The Huffington Post.
Khalsa Peace Corps founders Ravi and Jacquelin Singh started the program in 2009, out of a simple desire to serve the community.
“We came up with the idea to have mobile kitchens so we could get to where the need is, to where homeless people are,” Ravi Singh told HuffPost.
“One of the reactions is usually, ‘is this stuff really meant for us?’” Singh added. “Because they didn’t believe there would be a food truck just for them. We just wanted to serve them with dignity.”
Homelessness is a major problem in Los Angeles: The city had 28,464 homeless people on a given night in January 2016 ― an 11 percent increase from last year.
“The homeless situation in Los Angeles is an epidemic,” Garcia said. “Sometimes they don’t have the simplest thing: something to eat. That’s something every person should have access to.”
The Share A Meal truck goes out every night, Monday to Friday, to different areas of Los Angeles where homeless people tend to gather, from Skid Row to Downtown.
Some nights only a couple volunteers show up to help, and other nights there are a dozen. But there is always a core group ― including Garcia for the past two years ― to hand out food and the occasional basic necessity, such as socks, blankets or toiletries.
“The burritos are a way of saying we’re here, we’re helping, we’re trying to support you,” Garcia said. “To let the homeless community know they’re not forgotten.”
Share A Meal used to raise its funds by operating as a normal food truck by day, and then giving out free food by night. But now the Singhs only use the truck to deliver free food. They fund the project with donations to the Khalsa Peace Corps and with their own money.
“It’s all about bringing awareness,” Garcia said. “Hopefully this will inspire more people to do similar things, or to come join us in our cause.”
To volunteer or donate to the Share-A-Meal truck, visit the website.
H/T NBC Los Angeles.