Daring Moves

Introducing

Michelle & Ollie Carrera

of Chili’s on Wheels

Co-Founders (and dynamic mother & son duo) Michelle and Ollie of Chilis on Wheels are committed to vegan food relief. Volunteer-run and non-profit, Chilis on Wheels is on a mission to make vegan food accessible to communities in need.

Michelle and Ollie Carrera

Daring to combat food insecurity.

Tell us about Chili's on wheels and how you started it.

This all started as a mother and kid project. I had been looking for a soup kitchen to volunteer at that was vegan because we were a vegan family. And I quickly learned one didn't exist. So we just started cooking meals in our home and distributing them to people in the streets who were struggling with homelessness. We were so moved by that initial experience—by talking to people and hearing how appreciative they were—that we kept doing it every week.

It grew to the point where we realized we were going to need funding, not just to keep it going, but to make an even larger impact. To get there, we turned it into a nonprofit.

We’ve since grown to offer a much wider variety of meals. We’ve started chapters in other cities. We even flew to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria to do food relief and started La Comunidad—a vegan community center that's still standing. But it really came about organically.

We’re always preparing high quality food. Everyone deserves that, no matter what community you live in.

-Michelle & Ollie Carrera

What has the reaction been to your offering vegan meals?

It's always been very well received. You have to remember that these are communities that don’t typically have access to good, quality foods. So when you are serving meals that are healthy, nutritious, attractive and organic, people really appreciate what we’re doing. We work a lot with Gro NYC to source fresh organic produce. So we’re always preparing high quality food. Everyone deserves that, no matter what community you live in.

What does being daring mean to you?

To me, being daring is about being your authentic self and carrying that authenticity to everything you do and everyone you care for. It goes beyond ourselves as individuals. It's about what we can do for our community, for our neighbors. That's why what we do resonates with people—because it's our authentic selves being unafraid to care. Unafraid to engage. I think that’s what sets our work apart.

It goes beyond ourselves as individuals. It's about what we can do for our community, for our neighbors.

- Michelle & Ollie Carrera
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