For the community, with the community
Fresno's M.E.A.L. (Meals Engaging All Lives) is a not-for-profit community program that cooks, packages and gives home cooked meals to homeless individuals in Downtown Fresno.
During the holidays of 2013, Justin Kamimoto met a family at a neighborhood grocery store. The family was using food stamps to buy the basic staples to survive, and other customers in the check out lane were making rude remarks of "needing assistance." Upon exiting the grocery store, Justin meet the family and heard their story of how they're struggling on life's journey, but were thankful for what they had. The experience changed the way Justin looked at life.
In two weeks, Justin planned the first Fresno's M.E.A.L. opening up his family home for 32 people to come together on November 23, 2013. The meal cooked included all of the Thanksgiving fixings: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Corn, Stuffing and a dessert. Every meal also included a granola bar, soap bar, and water bottle, all of which was packaged in a white lunch bag decorated with a colorful picture or quote.
Today, Fresno's M.E.A.L. has grown out of the family kitchen and into The Painted Table, a locally owned catering company, in Fresno's Tower District. Business owners Jeromie and Rod Hansen re-aligned their business to give back in the one way we all can communicate in: food.
One thing is certain. Our meals are still homemade, utilizing locally grown ingredients, with the community coming together to share stories of our diverse backgrounds. When paired together, it creates a one-of-a-kind experience we like to call community.
Community minded, community run. Fresno's M.E.A.L. (Meals Engaging All Lives) is a not-for-profit organization. We currently do not hold a 501(c)3 status as our program is run by community contributions. Every contribution to our cause is given right back out directly to homeless individuals.