COLORADO SPRINGS — Many organizations feed people in need during the holidays, but a local non-profit is helping year round. Earlier today, they helped feed dozens of homeless people in Colorado Springs.
It's a partnership between Food Trucks Against Homelessness and Westside Cares. Every Monday morning, the group brings a food truck to Westside Cares. The food truck volunteers their time and supplies to serve meals to dozens of people in need.
Food Trucks Against Homelessness is an effort that began about a year ago because they simply wanted to help feed the homeless. Tracey Porter and her wife founded it, and since then, the effort has only gotten bigger.
"In the beginning, it was about 80 to 100 people, but now we're seeing about 100 to 130 people. It's grown. It cost us $200 to reimburse food trucks for their food and supplies, and the supplies we get, is probably between $500 and $800," said Porter, the program facilitator.
Thanks to the partnership, food trucks like Phat Frankies are parked outside of Westside Cares for two hours every Monday morning serving meals to those in need. When a food truck isn't available the organization brings food from a local business, like they did on Monday morning.
"They have good food. Today is burritos. Other times they have macaroni and cheese and things like that. It's a wonderful program," said Valentine Pineda, who's been receiving food and items since the effort got underway. "I really appreciated it when they came the day before Thanksgiving. They gave out clothes and everything matched."
They also bring donated clothes, socks, gloves and even hand warmers to give to people who also got a meal.
"They help everybody because people are just, they're needy, ya know. They're not working and they need food, they need clothes, they need everything," said Judy Astry, who also picked up a meal and items. "I think it's wonderful. I hope they continue to do it."
And as Porter was gathering items to bring to people on Monday morning, she says she became emotional because she knows her work is making a difference in the community.
"I was literally in tears, and that's only because I'm so grateful that I'm able to do this, that we're able to do this," said Porter. "These neighbors are so excited to see me, and they're so grateful because I've gotten to know them, and that's the beauty of all this."
When News5 asked Porter why she does it, she said, "I just feel that we as human beings, have to help another human being. I think that's what we're put on this earth for. It doesn't matter what day it is, but it's necessary to be here and it's necessary, in my opinion, to help them."
Right now, the organization is looking for more food trucks to volunteer their time. They do give $200 to food truck owners who help out, plus a donation letter so they can write it off on their taxes. They organization also needs donations like socks, gloves, hand warmers, masks, clothes and monetary donations.
The food is served every Monday morning from 11-1.
For more information about Food Trucks Against Homelessness, visit their FaceBook page or the website.