East Hollywood

East Hollywood Man Delivers Tacos to Community Struggling During Pandemic

"There is a lot of need, especially in our Latino community, there are many people who obviously work in restaurants and right now they don't have a job and we try to give them a little bit," said Heleo Leyva.

A young man from Puebla has been selling quesadillas in East Hollywood for years, and during that time he has been able to meet members of his community who are in vulnerable conditions, and that inspired him to begin a mission that is flourishing despite the pandemic.

It's flourishing because more and more people have joined the cause, and now the charitable team has arrived at the place where it usually gets to prepare and distribute food.

From early on, Heleo Leyva and his allied hands prepare what will be once again more than dozens of free food deliveries on an East Hollywood street.

"There is a lot of need, especially in our Latino community, there are many people who obviously work in restaurants and right now they don't have a job and we try to give them a little bit," said Leyva, who prepares and distributes tacos.

For four months, once a week, Leyva, his brother Filemón and their assistants have fired up the grill to cook the meat and heat the tortillas that complete the dish that this time has been given to about 200 people.

“We are trying to help people more than we can, as street vendors, we understand what people are going through,” said Filemón Leyva, Heleo's brother.

Filemón says that it all started with a small donation, at the same time that, due to the pandemic, his brother could no longer sell quesadillas as he usually did in front of the 4600 block of Santa Monica Boulevard.

After opening a GoFundMe page, the donations grew to the point that this time, it was enough for an additional component.

"I have not sold much fruit on the street, and here they hired me to sell fruit, help people, give them fruit for free, they paid me completely," said Juan Manuel, a fruit seller.

The food could not have come at a better time for Julia Gómez, who has had to resort to recycling cans after cans to make a living.

"May God help them with health, strength and courage to move forward, and please do not stop giving that little piece of meat," said Gómez, grateful for the food donation.

Leyva said that he will soon be traveling to Fresno to put on a free food event.

Here the free food event is usually on Tuesdays, but that schedule can change from week to week.

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