The Burrito Project

A friend of mine who had been traveling in the US had met up with this group who were doing this community outreach initiative called The Burrito Project. A group of riders would put in a few dollars a week for supplies, and then get together one evening over beers to make a whole bunch of burritos, and then pack their backpacks and distro them to the homeless around the city.

You can view an overview here: Burrito Project on Vimeo

I was wondering if there was anything similar in Melbourne? If not, would anyone be interested in doing something similar?


food not bombs happens at loophole community space every sunday. they’re not fashionable - most of them don’t ride sweet fixies, or have clips on vimeo - but they’ve been feeding people in need for a long time now.

I haven’t heard of anything like this is Melbourne but I reckon it would be mad fun!!

Looks pretty cool
I wonder what the laws about giving food away are like in Oz?

Sad thing is people need housing more than they need food in Melbourne.

Thanks everyone; I concept I gleamed from the video is that it was about giving something back to people who were often ‘forgotten’. Being new in this city, I don’t have a firm grasp on the issues that are most pertinent to people who are in unfortunate positions of housing / employment, etc.

I personally liked the simplicity of the Burrito Project - in that it wasn’t so much about ‘fixies’ - it was just a cool way of combining things people were into - riding, food, socialising - with doing something that made a difference. I thought, given that there are heaps of people into cycling in Melbourne, maybe we could do something just as cool, but relative to the environment here and the issues that are pertinent.

Thoughts, suggestions?

Something about the idea of hipsters riding their fixies around giving food to the homeless makes me a little uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for helping the less fortunate, but surely there are a myriad of long running (effective) programs you could get involved in. This just feels a bit too much like assuaging middle class guilt about riding expensive impractical bikes.

This is definitely true and applies to pretty much any city in Australia where homelessness is a problem. I think where we really fail is our treatment of the mentally ill who are in at risk situations.

there are many vans and kitchens already set up that are always in need of an extra set of hands.
Want to volunteer and work in the homeless community in Melbourne Australia - Homeless Forums

As others have said, it seems very conceited. Living their middle class lives and then having a wank every sunday and recording it with their canon 70d for vimeo.

since there are many vans and kitchen around melbourne, we could always get food from the kitchens and travel to the people who cannot reach the shelter?

In one way yes, but in another they are bringing notice to a problem that exists in our society, I mean it has sparked talk on here hasn’t it? I’m not sure their intentions, whether it be actually trying to help and document it to get it out to others, or as it might seem they are filming it to feel better about themselves. Either way I guess it’s positive, but lets hope when they stop filming or get ‘bored’ of doing it, they don’t stop.

Yeah, i am probably being a bit harsh. But we could make a thread about the homeless and get just as much discussion.
But fixie+vimeo+‘project’+slow tempo piano… I am just sick of these pseudo effective crusades.

A lot of pieces describes hipsters as a subculuture that basically sucks all the superficial ‘cool’ aspects of other subcultures, to become a collage of cool, and dont care for the depth of the subculture (ala they are leeches that suck only trendy things). And this is how i see this video, make some burritos, ride on fixies and video it, is cool… being effective and doing some real hardwork/lifestyle changes to make a difference… thats not cool

you’ve nailed it with two paragraphs mate.

But still, since there are many vans and kitchen around melbourne, we could always get food from the kitchens and travel to the people who cannot reach the shelter?

I mean, we could get anyone on bikes, not just ss/fixed, and not video it.
Just like a group doing volunteering work? It would be fun in a group :smiley:

maybe, just maybe, you should ask the opinion of homeless folks before slinging burritos at them. because at the moment, while there seems to be a lot of good intentions in this thread, there’s also a lot of condescension.

The essence of the idea has a lot potential in my opinion but considering it from more than one angle I can see how it comes off as condescending. It sounds like fun gathering a bunch of like-minded folks and attempting to help a few homeless people in need. But realistically, there has to be a way of making sure people aren’t treating it like an event.

First thing to consider is whether the homeless of Melbourne do want to be a part of this idea; their opinions are very important as it would be us invading their space.

Secondly, the people participating should really only be contributing if they’ve got the right idea about the point of this. Riding around on expensive creations doesn’t seem to fit well with the idea of helping the poor. It feels like there’s something wrong with the concept.

There could be a good way of pulling off this idea; perhaps it needs a re-evaluation. Worth a try though :slight_smile:

even if some do treat it like an event, so what? they’re still helping the community
getting more people to help would be more benifical, not what every biker considers the “event/fundraiser/project” or what ever you want to call it.

im sure everyone’s hearts are in the right place… but melbourne’s homeless want a hit or some spare change, not sympathy and food from people wealthier than them on bikes. the ones that dont probably know where to get a meal. im sure there’s heeaaps of soup kitchens around who would need volunteers.

i think its great that people want to help out but there are a few problems that would be encountered.

  • A lot of the less fortunate would see this as showing off, rolling up in new clothes on expensive bikes offering food.

  • The major cause of homelessness and problems for the needy is mental health. A group of random strangers coming along offering food would cause an amount of fear and trepidation on behalf of the client, this may set them off causing a dangerous situation for all, defeating the purpose of the original idea.

  • the homeless and less fortunate are not trusting. Especially the homeless are victimised and ridiculed in the street by younger “wankers” and have grown wary of people who do not look like a trusting grandparent. So a bunch of hipsters wouldnt be trusted at all by many people and would only stir trouble and possibly more problems.

  • Organisations such as the soup vans have spent many many years building a repore based on trust with the people who they see on a regular basis, the volunteers become known to the people and are respected by them. If someone did want to get something going it would need to be a long term thing.

This is along different lines but instead of burritos it could be balloons, and instead of homeless people give them to children (or adults). It wouldn’t be helping anyone in need but it would make people happy. Perhaps projects with more of a spontaneous, less provoking nature would work better. But if people want to make a positive impact then I suggest looking into some of the suggestions people have mentioned.