Home-y Made Meals
Home-y Made Meals is a 100% people-powered initiative adapted to the safety measures required during Covid-19. Within the safety and comfort of their homes, volunteers from all around Southern California prepare, deliver, and serve homemade meals every day. We've re-imagined the soup kitchen volunteering experience to ensure our unhoused neighbors are well-fed and well-loved.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
San Gabriel Valley
San Fernando Valley
County of Los Angeles
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
When Covid-19 crept in and disrupted our personal and communal lives, we received stay-at-home orders. Our unhoused neighbors stayed at home, outside, directly facing multitudes of insecurities. While we started fighting for toilet paper, they continued struggling for survival. Homelessness endured with greater visibility. As the impact of homelessness magnified, Eayikes, a collective manifesting social connection beyond physical touch, and Polo’s Pantry, a respectfully prominent mobile food pantry, joined hands. Together, we sought to address, replenish, and reallocate the displacement of resources— specifically food. Our intentions to proximate ourselves to homelessness and close gaps between them and us resulted in Home-y Made Meals.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
Home-y Made Meals fills the gap of food insecurity faced by our growing unhoused population. As traditional access to informal food sources & volunteering opportunities are disrupted, we re-imagined the power of homemade food and volunteerism. The design of Home-y Made Meals enables everyday housed people to make meals, transport meals, and engage in service in a time when both food and civic engagement are desperately needed. The accessibility of this project, which includes a free pantry for volunteers to source ingredients & supplies, has activated on average 42 chefs and 15 drivers to deliver 908 homemade meals every week across LA and Orange County since March 2020. The operations team of Home-y Made Meals coordinates volunteer schedules based on availability and location. Volunteers make meals in the safety of their homes and drive them to our outreach partner organizations who handle distribution to our unhoused neighbors.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Expand existing project, program, or initiative
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 800
Indirect Impact: 1,300
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Since Safer At Home Emergency Order began in March 2020, we've served 47,376 meals by engaging 877 volunteers in a time when the homelessness crisis was compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. This downstream solution is providing hope everyday to both unhoused and housed Angelenos. Additionally, partner organizations like Covenant House California share how these meals have been integral in building trust among outreach workers and unhoused people. The power of a consistent homemade meal cannot be understated. An LA2050 grant will amplify this power, fostering deeper trust and relationship-building between outreach worker and unhoused person, while growing the hearts of housed Angelenos by transforming biases and inspiring proximity to our most vulnerable & marginalized neighbors. We work to make civic engagement joyful.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
We measure impact quantitatively by meals served, volunteers activated, and recurring volunteer rate. We've served 47,376 meals, activated 877 volunteers, and have a 75% recurring volunteer rate. Qualitatively we gather feedback from volunteers after each shift through a survey, as well as insight from outreach partner organizations in order to improve operations and the impact of each meal.
Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.
Polo's Pantry is the development arm of Home-y Made Meals, securing outreach partner organizations, building relationships with unhoused communities, and directing where to channel this people power network. Over the holidays, Polo's Pantry led us to Lideres Campesinas and farmworkers in Oxnard who were in desperate need of basic necessities. In addition to our daily meal operation, we activated our community to create over 700 supply bags full of groceries and hygiene items.
Which of the LIVE metrics will you impact?
Access to healthy food
Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.
LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT