ABOUT THE PROJECT
We're two people who live in New York City and witness seen the unfortunate reality of homelessness in the city every time we step outside.
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 ever-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. But as many New Yorkers do, we sometimes buy food for people on the streets from nearby shops and restaurants. However, as we started to do this more and more often, we realized that we can do much better than buy fast food for a few people.
We had the idea to make and deliver dinner to up to twenty people on the streets every week. All of our meals are home-cooked, fresh, and healthy. We packaging each meal in beautiful, recyclable wrapping, along with a hand-written note. Way more personal than fast food, but just as professional.
Why make the meals ourselves? 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 sandwich that we make ourselves with all of the same ingredients costs just $2.25.
What we're doing here is really small, but it is an improvement over what we were doing before. There are an unbelievable number of humans in New York—and every major city—who need help, and it would be foolish to think that twenty meals a week will solve the major problems. We are optimistic that Weekly Meal can grow into a further reaching project that inspires people to start similar efforts in their own communities, and we plan to help make that happen in the near future. But as of right now, we're trying to brighten the nights of twenty strangers every week. Even if it's only a tiny drop in the bucket.
— Samara & Dylan