Austin Bicycle Meals rallies cyclists to deliver meals to Austinites experiencing homelessness

Since launching in Austin in 2021, the group has grown to distribute ~450 meals per month.

Kelly Wourms pulls a cardboard box out of a bike with a container on the front of it, ready to hand it to people living in an encampment behind him.

Kelly Wourms launched Austin Bicycle Meals after participating in a similar group in Koreatown, Los Angeles.

Photo provided by Kelly Wourms

Just under three years ago, Kelly Wourms and his girlfriend were making 50 sack lunches per week in his kitchen to distribute to people experiencing homelessness in Austin. Now, he works with fellow Austinites to distribute ~450 meals per month — via group bike rides.

Wourms, the founder of Austin Bicycle Meals, learned the concept from a group of cyclists in Koreatown, Los Angeles. When he moved to Austin in 2021 (for that same girlfriend who helped him make sack lunches), he decided to launch the same concept in the Capital City.

“I thought that this idea could work really well in Austin,” he said.

Since those early days, the community has rallied around Wourms’ efforts, with local nonprofits like Our Shared Kitchen and Austin Food Not Bombs providing dozens of meals.

Wourms has also expanded the effort to more than food: Austin Bicycle Meals also distributes feminine hygiene kits, emergency blankets, dog food, and socks, among other items.

“I thought, ‘There’s just so many more things we could be doing, and services that we could offer to people besides just food,’” Wourms said.

A group of people stands in front of a mural next to Flat Track Coffee, with bikes filled with food stationed in front of them,

Wourms said some Austin Bicycle Meals rides are just one to two people, but others can be groups of more than a dozen.

Photo provided by Kelly Wourms

How to get involved

Donate to Austin Bicycle Meals online or join one of the regular rides on:

  • Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. | Flat Track Coffee
  • Every other Wednesday (the next one is March 27) at 5:30 | Eastside Pedal Pushers

Rides can span from a few miles to more than a dozen miles, depending on when the food runs out. By the way, you don’t need a bike. Wourms has seen participants show up by car, scooter, skateboard, and on foot — all you need is something to carry meals in.

Regardless of group size, Wourms said someone from Austin Bicycle Meals makes the run every time.

“I want to continue to serve our neighbors and just let them know that we’re going to be out there,” Wourms said. “Sunshine, rain, snow, whatever. We’re going to be out there because they’re out there.”

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