MIAMI - During the height of the pandemic in 2020, Lauren and Ken Mason found themselves out of work and with an overstock of food.
Seeing the community's urgent need for food, they turned their Kendall home into a headquarters.
CBS Miami first introduced you to them in November last year when they were settling into the routine of delivering ready-to-eat meals to community fridges.
Since then, it has become a passionate commitment that continues to evolve.
Lauren said it is fulfilling and pretty surprising.
"We look back and it's been life-changing really because you know we never expected to do so much in a year," said Lauren.
Combing Lauren's instinct to help others and Ken's skill as a professional chef turned into a recipe for relief.
She recalled at the time in 2021, it came about organically.
"It kind of snowballed, we started getting contacted from different organizations and churches saying they were just offering to help and everybody asking 'do you want this? do you have that?'"
A year later their nonprofit "Be the Change South Florida" is under transformation.
"Now we're cooking out of a commercial kitchen. Our church is very generous. In the evening or on weekends, we're welcome to go cook there. We have a rental space at a church now so we built our own little community pantry where people can come and pick up food donations and move them to the other fridges with our partner organizations."
The formula has worked: they get donations and rescue food from stores and restaurants and rely on kind helpers for meal prep, and deliveries, and serve the food to unsheltered people.
Lauren said they continue to see the need and are able to help people who may be out of work, lost their housing, and struggling with the most basic need as costs of food have risen.
"It's heartbreaking hearing all these stories all these people are trying to make it and they just can't because things are so unaffordable here."
They have a big holiday event coming up on December 18 where they plan to feed hundreds in downtown Miami, with help from other organizations.
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