Community Cookouts: Feeding those in need in East Hollywood

Hosted by

Every Tuesday, Heleo Leyva and his team prepare 200 meals for residents in East Hollywood. Photo by Danielle Chiriguayo/KCRW

Before COVID-19, street vendor Heleo Leyva ran Quesadillas Tepexco, an East Hollywood food stand. But as the virus began to spread, he was forced to shut down. Then he decided to team up with local volunteers and chefs to help feed his community — all for free. 

“Feeding or helping your communities, it’s part of a very strong bond that exists in the native culture.  ... It's part of your being. … It's not a hobby, it’s something for your essential survival,” Leyva says.

Since August, Leyva’s Community Cookouts has distributed more than 2,000 meals.