CHICAGO — On Chicago’s West Side, a mobile food truck lead by a seasoned team from Chicago’s culinary world is on a mission to feed the city’s homeless population.
For months, several restaurants have taken to giving hot meals to those in need. During the pandemic, Chicago chefs Robert Magiet and Jason Vincent knew it was possible to contribute in a big way.
“It’s a thing I can do, you know what I mean? It makes me feel not helpless, but it’s not about me,” Vincent said.
Following successful meal giveaways for Thanksgiving and Christmas, with several restaurants and neighbors pitching in donations, the two chefs doubled down on their efforts to help the food and housing insecure.
“It feels amazing when you pull up to a spot and see people get so excited that they’re going to get served a hot meal,” Magiet said.
In just a few days, Magiet and Vincent were able to serve over 1,300 meals.
“The meals consist of pancakes, homemade tater tots, sausage and eggs and for lunch we’re doing burgers with a side of macaroni and cheese,” Magiet said.
Hearty options mostly cooked on-site and handed out with dignity to those who come, some running over when they see the truck.
“It felt good but it also was terribly sad at the same time. Somebody was running back just so they could get a hot meal and when people were telling us they couldn’t remember the last time they were able to eat hot meals two days in a row…it just makes us know that we have to do better,” Magiet said.
Vincent added that people should have dignity based on society and not based on one hot meal.
While the ongoing mission continues, the impact is felt in the neighborhood as the two chefs look to work to improve the problem.
“We’re going to keep this mission for months to come and continue to provide meals for as long as we can,” Magiet said.