The Burritos Without Borders project has a strategic plan to “help the helpers.” That is, we are using the power of our kitchen to support people who directly serve the homeless and the poor.
Three programs that we have a relationship with are:
- Edible Hope – St. Luke’s Episcopal Church: Serves breakfast to 150-200 every weekday, in Ballard.
- Rainier Popup Kitchen: Serves a sidewalk meal to 120-160 every Sunday, in the Rainier Valley.
- Nickelsville: Administers four Tiny House Villages providing shelter to 150 people.
Each of these is a well-developed program in its own right. Our engagement with them is meant to lighten their burden and strengthen their capability.
Our principle focus in these early days is the Edible Hope program of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, in Ballard. This astonishing program feeds up to 200 people every day Monday through Friday using donated food, a tiny budget, and the effort of stalwart volunteers from the church, many of whom are women who have been serving for 30 years! For a sentimental portrait of the program, see the Seattle Times from 2016.
The program is controversial, because St. Luke’s is in the center of a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. The church sits across the street from Ballard Commons Park and the public library. The mingling of desperately poor homeless people with a middle-class population is not without friction. The church has come under fire for their relentless commitment to serving the poor. See this Seattle Times article from July, 2018 for an account of the controversy.
We believe the church deserves our support because they are committed to “respecting the dignity of every human being,” in the words of the Rev. Britt Olson, priest of St. Luke’s. We, also, believe that everyone has the right to live, and everyone has the right to eat. The church comes from a religious perspective, and we are secular. Our objectives are the same.
We are arranging to send 250 burritos per week to the Edible Hope kitchen. This supply of prepared food, needing only to be heated to be served, gives the volunteer cooks some breathing room in the middle of the morning. At the moment, this allocation represents the bulk of our production, but as we ramp up to industrial scale we hope to provide this kind of support to multiple programs throughout the city.
For details of the next upcoming Burrito Party, please see the sidebar on this site. To support or volunteer for the Edible Hope program directly, visit their page on St. Luke’s website.