A collective of vegan businesses have joined together to give away meals to youth, seniors, people undergoing homelessness, and anyone in need during the COVID-19 crisis. Thus far, they have given away 1,000+ meals and 100+ masks.
Tan Bowers, the owner of the Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market on Howell Mill Rd., is leading this effort. She started this collective and initiative out of a desire to help Atlanta youth out of school during the COVID-19 crisis. “God really put it on my heart about the youth,” said Bowers. “I’ve tutored for a long time, and I know that school is accountability for a lot of kids. It’s where they feel compassion, it’s where a lot of them get fed their only meal of the day. And it’s also, you know, where if there’s a bruise or something on them, or if they’re in danger, they feel that [school] is a safe place.“
Though her focus was initially on providing meals for youth, Bowers says they don’t turn anyone away. And the line at their April 27th free lunch event had adults, kids, and seniors alike.
Of the initiative, Bowers said it goes beyond giving away a warm, delicious meal: “I really want to give people more than food. I want to really give you nourishment and say God bless you and mean it, because I see people drive past [people undergoing homelessness] everyday…This is the first time in any of our generations where the entire world has been impacted by the same thing at the same time. It has caused us to see that race, creed, none of that really matters at the end of the day. We’re all people, and we’re all people that would prefer to be on this side of death.”
Travis Johnson attended the free community lunch event on April 27th, bringing a veteran friend undergoing homelessness so that his friend could get a meal. Johnson was so thankful, saying that, “[The organizers] are going to get a blessing. It takes a team…I think that what they are doing is good–it’s more than just good. It’s a blessing from God because somebody cares about the homeless people out here. They care about the community.”
Bowers’ collective will be providing 200 free meals to anyone who needs it, as well as 100 free masks to youth and seniors on June 10th, 2020 from 1 to 2pm in the parking lot of the Wadada Healthy Market at 878 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW. Follow them on Instagram for more information on the event. They are taking donations of cash or fresh produce. You can also support these businesses by patronizing the vendors at the Atlanta Food Truck Park.