Michelle Carrera, Chilis on Wheels, New York, NY
A mobile, all-volunteer vegan soup kitchen operating in 5 cities.
Tags: Human Rights, Animal Rights, HomelessnessMichelle is combining a passion for healthy vegan food with a desire to feed hungry people. She and her 4 year old son, Ollie, launched Chilis on Wheels in New York, a nonprofit that cooks and distributes Chili to homeless and hungry people all over the City. With a volunteer team of 34 (many of whom are under the age of 18), they serve 800 meals a month. They have 4 other chapters in Portland, Denver, San Diego and Puerto Rico and 10 more locations hoping to launch soon as funding allows. Their 2015 budget (which includes food and compostable containers) is $20,000. In 2016, if they are able to raise $75,000, they will dramatically expand their reach in NYC (they expect to be able to do over 2,000 meals a month) and launch at least 10 new chapters. They would also be able to expand their program with schools, providing ways for students to get involved in direct service work.
It is rare to see human rights causes that have an appreciation for animal rights; and rare to see an animal rights cause with an appreciation for human rights. Chilis on Wheels bridges these two, often mutually exclusive issues, in a positive and proactive way. Michelle is an ambitious, smart and passionate leader who can do a lot with a little. Securing a larger budget would allow this project to grow exponentially in a very short period of time.