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Burrito Project will feed homeless in Salt Lake City

Published April 30, 2013 8:38 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

For the second year, Rico Brands will be pedaling burritos.

Volunteers will be biking around Salt Lake City giving away rice and bean meals to the homeless as part of the national Burrito Project.

Salt Lake City is one of about 30 locations in North America participating. The concept is simple: Volunteers make burritos and deliver them by bicycle.

Last year, Rico bought all the beans, rice and tortillas and paid employees to wrap them, which cost around $10,000, estimates Josh Marans, Rico spokesman.

This year, it received a $1,000 grant from Slow Food Utah and discounts from Nicholas & Co., and U.S. Foods. It also attracted about 40 volunteers willing to wrap and deliver the food, including some youth from Utah Juvenile Justice Services.

The group will give away up to 500 burritos a day beginning Thursday, May 2, and continue every Monday and Thursday until it's too cold to bike. They'll be at the Main Library, Pioneer Park, The Road Home and anywhere else they can find hungry people.

"Being on bikes, we can hit a lot of pockets. We can really get in there and interact with them," Marans said. "The worst thing is making too many burritos and not having anywhere to take them."

He hopes to get companies will donate T-shirts and bike helmets that can be branded as part of the Burrito Project, along with donations of rice, beans, tortillas and foil.

He said the burritos don't have the Rico label on them, but the gifts are part of the company's mission.

"Rico Brand was built [by] the Salt Lake community supporting [owner Jorge Fierro] and giving back to him. He wants to do the same," Marans said.