Helping The Hungry In Los Angeles, One Burrito At A Time
by Litty Mathew, Greenbar Distillery Co-Founder and SpiritsMaker
Melkon and I are grateful to have participated in a night out with the Burrito Project near our distillery. We’ve been on a mission to help our local community and the increased hunger many Angelenos face. That’s why we started our #drinkcitygin campaign, tying the purchase of our CITY Bright gin at a restaurant to a nutritious meal for someone in need.
On the third Thursday of every month, The Burrito Project volunteers gather in Los Angeles to make and distribute burritos to the hungry. This month, we joined in with lovely people who feel the same urge to help as we do. Everyone was a volunteer. Everyone was an optimist. (Faith in humanity restored.) Everyone was there to make a burrito.
In the kitchen of The Church of the Epiphany, we heated up donated large tortillas on very hot griddles. You learn quickly to flip them after 60 seconds and when the tortilla puffed up slightly, time to take it off and slip another tortilla on the griddle. The kitchen volunteers came and went but the job stayed the same: Heat up 1,000 tortillas to make 1,000 burritos. This took about one and a half hours.
The kitchen crew wrapped up warm tortillas, ready to be turned into nutritious, vegan burritos by the sixty volunteers waiting outside the kitchen in a dining hall area. They were ready to assemble vegan burritos at the signal. Our table was manned by our favorite band, Dig The Kid and our pals from We Like LA. They looked great with plastic gloves on!
Assembling was a team building exercise. You had to work together. Each table held a pan of rice donated by area restaurants, another with pinto beans and also some tasty salsa. Everything looked delicious! Once you got the hang of it, burrito wrapping went very quickly – about 35 minutes to assemble 1,000 burritos.
Around 9.45 pm, all the burritos were made and it was time to pass out the food plus warm clothes and bottled water. We headed to 4th Street and Los Angeles in DTLA. This area is also known as Skid Row. We learned at that hour, folks who haven’t found a bed inside a shelter settle outside for the night. These are the people most in need.
We walked by countless tents and makeshift shelters. We passed out all 1,000 burritos in a little over an hour. People said thank you and that we made a difference. It’s a rough situation to face. This scene is also part of our beloved city. Can we make it better one burrito at a time?
We’re thankful for having met all the volunteers and Alan Pinel, head honcho of The Burrito Project, Los Angeles. Making and giving out burritos reminded us that life is something we go through together. We’re truly grateful for what we have and see this as a call to share what we can.