Chicago restaurant owner buying out tamale vendors' inventory to get them out of the cold, feed the homeless

by Laura Mize · Feb 9th, 2021 4:07 pm

Last Updated Feb 10th, 2021 at 5:26 pm

A restaurant owner in Chicago has been buying all the tamales he can from vendors selling outside in frigid winter temperatures and donating the food to feed people in need.

"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," said Robert Magiet, owner of fusion restaurant TaKorea Cocina.

He is also glad to help vendors be able to go home and get out of the nasty weather. So far, Magiet has bought out more than 10 vendors, with contributions from the community.

"I was driving past Humboldt Park and saw a tamale vendor out, and she looked like she was dressed to be in Antarctica," Magiet said. "I pulled over and asked her if I bought all of her tamales, would she go home for the day and get out of the cold? She said, ‘Of course, absolutely, yes.' I guess it just started from there."

The vendor praised Magiet.

"Well, I feel really happy," tamale vendor Javier Hernandez told WAFF 48 news. "The man is like an angel."

Magiet also has started West Town Feeds, an effort by local restaurant owners to feed people through the COVID-19 pandemic.


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