Soul Food with Love!
Help Sandi purchase and set up a food truck so she can start a business and keep feeding the homeless.
Meet Sandi. She's an extraordinary woman with a gift for cooking delicious soul food and a heart as big as the moon. Sandi has overcome unimaginable hardships and found joy and purpose in feeding the local homeless community. Please join us in helping her buy a food truck so that she can become self-supporting and continue to serve the less fortunate.
Funds will cover purchasing a food truck, insurance, permits, marketing and operating expenses for the first three months. Sandi is receiving guidance for this venture from individuals who believe in her and her mission, but we need your support to make it happen. So help Sandi, and you'll be helping an entire community. Thank you so much!
I first met Sandi McMillion after I read an article in a local paper about her delivering hot meals to the homeless at Christmas. Sandi grew up in the south in very rough conditions, including poverty, neglect and abuse. This led to a difficult life, including addiction and prison, ultimately leading to homelessness.
She was in her 50s when she finally redirected her life and got help from two nonprofits in Marin County. First, Homeward Bound, Marin’s primary provider of shelters for the homeless, provided her housing. Then, Ritter Center, a community-based organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living in poverty, enabled her to get clean and regain her health. In 2018, finally having a home and her health, she began cooking and delivering hot meals two to three times a week for Marin’s homeless. Through this service, Sandi began to dream of starting her own food truck business.
“I began cooking the fried chicken and Southern food that I am famous for and fed it to the homeless. And in that moment, I found out what God had for me and it was cooking. I realized I could take that and use it to turn around all my pain and suffering into love by giving back and being of service.” she says. “Starting a food truck business would allow me to get off of SSDI, become self-sufficient and afford to continue to feed the homeless.”
Sandi calls her business Two Pots and a Pan. She plans to serve at local venues such as banks, medical facilities, large corporations and farmers' markets as well as offering catering services. She specializes in Southern food but is adept at cooking almost anything, including vegetarian and vegan. Using her food truck, she will continue to feed the homeless two to three times a week.
She has put together budgets for purchasing the food truck and startup costs and has researched the many permits and licenses required to run the business. She also wants to hire homeless people with kitchen skills to help her, and to train them in the business.
Sandi would like to purchase a truck outright but will buy on credit if necessary. She has also joined a Facebook group of women food truck owners, which has been invaluable. Her goal is to set up the business by November when the weather will turn cold, and the homeless will be more vulnerable.
A few cities in Marin have been providing homeless encampments, and while the situation is currently in flux, it looks like these will continue in one form or another. Currently, there are organizations feeding the homeless in Marin, but, in the times of Covid, it is usually just bag lunches. There are also food banks, but the homeless do not have the means to cook food.
After reading the article, I reached out to Sandi and told her I wanted to start a GoFundMe to raise funds for her food truck business, and I went with her to hand out food to the homeless. She knows these people, and they know her; she has been where they are now and has such acceptance and compassion for them.
I then invited her to come and cook a Southern dinner for my friends and me. We had gluten-free fried chicken, smothered potatoes, spring pea salad and cornbread. The woman can cook! As we have become friends, I have been impressed with her honesty and resilience in the face of adversity and how she has moved beyond the conditions of her life to give back to the world.
The article also moved other people, including Max Shapiro, CEO of PeopleConnect, an innovative leader in the people search industry. Max also contacted Sandi and went out with her to feed the homeless. In a short while, a whole Team Sandi was assembled. Our members include Robin Stonesifer and myself, Katherine Randolph, our incredible video team Shelley Alger, Margot Duane, Matthew Fassberg, Sandi Cupit and Doug York, and our media team Bruce Potterton and Cheryl Reiss.
Sandi has set up an advisory team for her business which includes Max, Robin, Cheryl Reiss, the PR Director of Ritter Center, and myself.
Here is a link to the original Marin IJ article. https://www.marinij.com/2021/12/24/once-homeless-san-rafael-woman-now-finds-healing-cooking-holiday-meals-for-people-on-marins-streets/
From all of us at Team Sandi, thank you so much for your generosity and for helping Sandi’s dream come true!
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Mill Valley, CA