How a Food Truck Gives LA's Homeless More Than Just Free Meal

Share A Meal nourishes the body and spirit


Food trucks have become a familiar and welcome sight on the streets of America’s cities, with millions of happy customers chowing down on delicious and cheap meals across the nation every day. There is one food truck on the streets of Los Angeles however, that offers far more than only soul food.

Each night, from Monday to Friday, the Share A Meal truck heads out to a different LA spot where homeless people gather and serves up free, freshly made, vegetarian-friendly burritos to anyone in need of a warm meal. In addition to hundreds of tasty burritos, the Share A Meal volunteers go out with loving hearts, kind words, and smiles, offering water, and other essentials such as socks, blankets and toiletries.

The program was started in 2009 by Khalsa Peace Corps founders Ravi and Jacquelin Singh, who wanted to help people down on their luck after being inspired by a trip to India's Golden Temple. “The burritos are a way of saying we’re here, we’re helping, we’re trying to support you,” long-time volunteer Alejandro Garcia told NBC Los Angeles. “To let the homeless community know they’re not forgotten.”

Share a Meal initially began with only a trailer kitchen, handing out free meals one night a week in Downtown LA. Thanks to its resounding success and warm reception within the community, the Singhs could already expand to a food truck a year later. And the Singhs have big dreams for the future, with plans to extend the program to help not only to the homeless, but also the underprivileged, working poor, and senior citizens. Little by little, they hope, they will be able to  restore some dignity to those often forgotten by society.

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Goodnet was initiated by Shari Arison and is operated by The Ted Arison Family Foundation. Shari Arison is also the initiator of Good Deeds Day.