Introducing Weekly Meal

 

Earlier this year, Samara told me about an idea she had to start cooking a handful of meals each week to deliver to homeless people in New York City. I immediately fell for the idea and started to think of ways that we could expand it. Ultimately, I wanted to make something that felt almost like a free restaurant-on-the-go that would be completely exclusive to the homeless. I wanted to make something that would help people feel cared for and included, rather than an afterthought.

Today, we’re introducing Weekly Meal together, a not-for-profit project with a relatively simple goal:

We’re making and hand-delivering fresh, healthy, and tasty meals to the homeless of New York City every Saturday evening.

 

 

In recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression. According to The Coalition for the Homeless, more than 116,000 homeless men, women, and children sleep in the New York City municipal shelter system, and thousands more sleep on the streets each night. With rising rents and an overall lack of affordable housing—the primary cause of homelessness—these numbers are likely to become even more depressing in the coming years.

There are so many problems to solve here, and the situation is far too complex for anybody to simply ‘fix’ it. Like many New Yorkers, we sometimes buy food for people on the streets from nearby shops and restaurants. We feel like we can do better than that, though. We had the idea to make and deliver dinner to up to twenty people on the streets every week. All of the meals will be home-cooked, fresh, and healthy. We’ll be packaging each meal in beautiful, recyclable custom wrapping, along with a hand-written note. Way more personal than fast food.

On top of that, we realized that we had the potential to impact over 3x the number of people if we made the meals ourselves, rather than buying them pre-made. For example, one really good, really healthy sandwich bought from a restaurant costs $10. One really good, really healthy sandwiches that we make ourselves with all of the same ingredients costs just $2.25.

What we’re doing here is really small, but it’s an improvement over what we were doing before. There are an unbelievable number of humans in NYC who need help, and it would be foolish to think that twenty meals a week will solve the major problems. We’re trying to brighten the nights of twenty strangers every week, even if it’s just a tiny drop in the bucket.

 

 

We’re planning to start delivering meals to people in February 2016, assuming we can find an apartment in the city for ourselves by then (fingers crossed!).

To learn more about the project, you can visit our website, weeklymeal.org.

I copied-and-pasted a lot of the homepage for this post, but there’s certainly more to read over there—including a menu with all of the yummy meals we’ll be making—so I’d love for you to check it out if you find some free time.

As always, thank you so much for coming along for the ride.