TaKorea Cocina helps tamale vendors by buying out their supply while also feeding the homeless

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago restaurant owner Robert Magiet of TaKorea Cocina is helping out local tamale vendors by buying all their supply while also feeding the homeless.

"I'm going out every morning and buying out tamale vendors so they can go home and get out of the cold for the day," Magiet said.

For over a week, Magiet has been purchasing carloads of tamales from vendors in the Logan Square, Humboldt Park and Avondale neighborhoods.

"About a week and a half ago on a Friday, I was driving past Humboldt Park and I saw a tamale vendor out, and she looked like she was dressed to be in Antarctica," he recalled. "And I pulled over and asked her, if I bought all of her tamales if she would go home for the day, and she said of course, absolutely, yes. And I guess I just started there."

He's been doing it with help of donations from the community . So far Magiet said he's helped over 10 vendors.

"Well, I feel really happy, the man is like an angel," said tamale vendor Javier Hernandez.

Magiet is no stranger to helping others. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic he's helped feed hundreds of people through his West Town Feeds movement.

The tamales he's purchased are given either to homeless encampments or shelters. Magiet said he also stocks Love Fridges, which are fridges spotted around the city where people can either donate or grab fresh produce or cooked meals.

In addition to buying tamales, Magiet said he plans to offer some of the vendors employment. He said he's grateful his community is joining him and helping those most in need.
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