Today we are joined by the founder of the nonprofit Lunch On Me, LaRayia Gaston. Her work is powerful, her belief in people is unwavering, and today’s episode is both uplifting and heartbreaking. The Los Angeles based charity provides nutritious and organic meals to more than 10,000 people per month. Their mission is to end starvation by redistributing food that would otherwise be wasted. Through Lunch On Me, LaRayia has also created a family dynamic and is teaching people to love and respect themselves.
In our conversation, LaRayia shares how she was drawn to Mother Teresa at a young age, and how feeding the homeless was her form of tithing by fourteen years old. She describes the changes she’s seen in the homeless community by providing food, and explains the bitter truth about pharmaceuticals, street drugs, and mental health. LaRayia also shares beautiful, tear-jerking stories that show how small deeds go a long way. She encourages us to be mindful of windows of opportunity where we can not only help, but gain a shift in perspective by connecting with the homeless.
We also talk about:
How the homeless community has impacted LaRayia
How homelessness can be a gift
LaRayia’s 43 days on Skid Row
What holding space looks like for LaRayia
Statistics for foster children and drug use
Poverty, corruption, and race relations
Corruption in nonprofits from government involvement