EUGENE, Ore. – Burrito Brigade, a grassroots non-profit organization serving hungry individuals in Eugene/Springfield, celebrated a milestone today, serving its 50,000th nutritious hot vegan meal since its inception 28 months ago.
According to Lisa Levsen, Burrito Brigade Vice President and organizer, volunteers cheered when the landmark meal – a vegan sloppy joe served in pita bread – was assembled. “Our volunteers take great personal pride in feeding those in need, and this is a wonderful cause for celebration,” she said. Over 4000 volunteer hours have been served year to date by over 900 volunteers.
Since 2014, Burrito Brigade has provided nutritious vegan meals weekly to hungry individuals in Eugene and Springfield. Burrito Brigade targets our community’s two most food-insecure days: Saturday and Sunday. The unique distribution model includes volunteers delivering meals directly to the hungry via foot, bike and automobile. Distribution volunteers also deliver water bottles, fruit, bread, clothing, hand warmers and rain ponchos throughout the year.
Burrito Brigade volunteers gather on Sundays in the kitchen of First Christian Church in Eugene to prepare and assemble tasty vegan burritos. Weekly production has grown from 50 burritos in 2014 to nearly 600 today.
The success of those grassroots efforts has spawned new events to feed the hungry:
- Pita Brigade, (aka Pita Parade), volunteers meet on Saturdays in a modest-sized home kitchen to create more than 200 delicious vegan sloppy joes served in pita pocket bread. Efforts are under way to find a commercial kitchen that will allow the organization to increase production on Saturdays.
- Burrito Brigade PDX has been launched to feed the hungry in Portland. Led by Burrito Brigade founder CJ Myers and Kelly Petrauskas, the Portland effort is averaging about 350 burritos per event. They plan on starting weekly Portland Burrito Brigade events in September, 2016.
Burrito Brigade is supported by financial donations from organizations and individuals as well as donations of produce and supplies from local gardens, local organic food organizations and companies. A list of regularly needed produce and supplies is available at burrito-brigade.org and on the organization’s Facebook page.
Financial donations may be made via Paypal using firstname.lastname@example.org, or checks may be sent to Burrito Brigade at 2040 Dewey St., Eugene, OR 97402-1261. Produce or supply donations maybe left on the front porch of 2040 Dewey Street. Burrito Brigade is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.