As a midsize city, people may not think Lubbock has a problem with the homeless population, but in fact, it does.
Lubbock Street Gourmet, an organization that serves food to the homeless population, hopes to end hunger in Lubbock.
Starting as three people giving grab bags to the homeless population, Lubbock Street Gourmet uses a food truck to bring food to the homeless, Cesar Hernandez, a sophomore electrical engineering major from Dallas, said.
Being big into community service in high school, Hernandez said he and the other people at Lubbock Street Gourmet saw there was a need in the homeless population to bring them supplies like water bottles, socks and granola bars.
Michael Seymour, cofounder of Lubbock Street Gourmet, said they figured out there was a need after this winter.
“It all started with the brutal winter,” Seymour said. “We were handing out different supplies like hand warmers and water bottles so that they can make it to the next day. The overwhelming response we were getting is that, ‘we want hot meals,’ so we got this food truck.”
Lubbock Street Gourmet partnered with local restaurants to provide food it can serve out of its truck, Hernandez said.
Kyle Shields, a senior restaurant, hotel and institutional management major from Austin, said one of the goals for the truck is to eventually cook meals out of the truck and not rely on other places for food.
“We are not really, at the moment, going to cook much in here,” Shields said. “We are going to use the truck mainly as a distribution vessel, temperature control and stuff like that. We would love to be a full prep and cook kitchen eventually.”
Hernandez said for now, they will be distributing food to the homeless population on Sundays. They hope to eventually distribute twice a week.
Lubbock Street Gourmet, Hernandez said, is also trying to be self-sustainable through fundraisers. When other people come and buy a meal, Lubbock Street Gourmet is able to give a meal to a member of the homeless population.
The goal of Lubbock Street Gourmet is to end hunger in Lubbock, Seymour said. Lubbock Street Gourmet is a pivotal program to the community.
“The statistics say that there are only 300 to 400 homeless people living in Lubbock today,” Seymour said. “A lot of those people are going hungry on a regular basis. If you look at how small a population we are looking at compared to how big of a population Lubbock has, it seemed like it would be a pretty easy deal to tackle.”
There have been members of the community reaching out to the Lubbock Street Gourmet wanting to help with its cause, Seymour said.
Shields said there is a need for this kind of program in every city. What Lubbock Street Gourmet stands for is a powerful message, and Shields said he wants to be a part of this project for the rest of his life.
“I think that there is a need in every city,” Shields said. “I know that a project like this in Austin, where I’m from, could really catch on and serve the community in a great way.”
Seymour said they want to expand Lubbock Street Gourmet into something more than giving food to the homeless. They want to provide more services to this population like providing mental health services, drug addiction help and job placement assistance.
Hernandez said whoever wants to help with this cause can contact Lubbock Street Gourmet on its Facebook page.
“Anybody that wants to give their time and wants to help with anything, just message us,” Hernandez said.