NEWS AND CULTURE

HOMETOWN HERO: THE CITY EATS

Learn all about this month's Hometown Hero The City Eats , what they are doing to fight homelessness, and how you can join.

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If you’ve been a fan of the site for a while, you have probably read my 2016 article that discussed the issue of homelessness in the Bay Area, and the various ways that you can help their struggle in a meaningful way. One local organization that does just that is The City Eats. I recently sat down with the organizations president, Bianca Kunnuji and we discussed the organizations mission, her desire to join their team, and how you can help.

Founded in 2014, The City Eats is a nonprofit whose ultimate goal is to get rid of homelessness. Bianca, and the CEO Kieem first linked up when working on an event where they gave free haircuts to underprivileged youth. The feedback was so amazing that they knew they wanted to turn it into something bigger. We started off very small just reaching out to our friends and family in the community for help to get funds together to make meals for those in need in San Francisco and have, since then, we’ve been able to conduct monthly feeds as well as various other activities and events to get involved with our community and have been able to feed over 5,000 individuals.”

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Although the team is small, consisting of 7 devoted individuals – Bianca, Kieem, Briana, Aisha, Ernest, Cat, and Damien – they have been blessed with a large amount of volunteers that help make their events and projects run smoothly. The organization is currently providing monthly feeds to the homeless in San Francisco, but look forward to expanding that to Los Angeles as well. They will also be visiting states such as Georgia and Florida, and have goals of one day pushing the movement overseas.

Originally from LA, one of the first things that Bianca noticed in the Bay Area was the homelessness. Because she worked in downtown, she would see the struggles that were surrounding her and it truly broke her hear. One Christmas, some friends asked me if I wanted to go with them to feed those in need and it was one of the most rewarding feelings I had felt in a long while. The people that we interacted with were so happy to not only receive food, but also just to know that someone cared enough to come out and speak with them, laugh with them, smile with them. It was Amazing, but it was also something that I knew I wanted to do permanently and more consistently.” For her, the most rewarding moments are the events where they get to do more then just feed the homeless. The events that allow her to truly get out and serve the community. “A few years ago we teamed up with some individuals in Oakland and were able help of about 100 kids in the Upward Bound Program at Berkeley. [We helped] clean up the streets of Oakland and Richmond that often go forgotten, [and were] able to be in the position to [inspire] others to want to give back to those in need. [That] is probably the most rewarding that I feel, every month.”cityeatsfeed0121-x2

In what feels like a really dark and cold time, organizations like these are super important. Bianca sees how imperative it is to be the change that we want to see in the world, and The City Eats allows her to do just that. I think it’s important that we show love and kindness and a helping hand to those in need and that we are able to show the youth the importance and benefits of giving back because it truly does all come back full circle.”

Interested in helping out? Well you’re in luck. They are always looking for more volunteers and always accepting donations. Items like socks, toiletries, water, and fruit are always in need and appreciated. You can also help by attending their monthly San Francisco events which happen the first Saturday of every Month at the Embarcadero YMCA : 169 Steuart St. Their LA Feeds will start on Saturday, February 25th, and will be every last Saturday of the month after that date.

They can be reached via e-mail at: thecityeats@gmail.com
Or by visiting their website: www.TheCityEats.org to sign up.
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