LuLu’s Lucky Lentils: A project devoted to feeding the homeless


Courtesy WikiVoice

Liudmila (LuLu) Esquerdo (right) smiles as she holds up a container of her lentils.

Amanda Treto, Pinecrest Glades Academy High

“Never Let A Homeless Person Feel Forgotten” is the motto that LuLu’s Lucky Lentils lives by.

LuLu’s Lucky Lentils is a project that strives to help feed homeless people by going out into the community and handing out food.

LuLu’s Lucky Lentils originated as a tradition started by Liudmila (LuLu) Esquerdo 10 years ago. It had started as a New Year’s tradition in which she would make lentils at home and then invite friends and family to her house to eat them together. This year, she decided she wanted to take her project further and take the initiative in making homemade lentils and gathering a group of people to go out into her community of Downtown Miami and share them with the homeless.

“Changing the tradition of LuLu’s Lucky Lentils changed my perspective of homeless people. It’s no longer about you getting together at home and having a meal, it’s about changing someone’s life,” said Esquerdo.

This January, LuLu’s Lucky Lentils held its first event, in which Lulu and her group of volunteers went to Downtown Miami and delivered 50 hot meals of lentils to the homeless. Not only did they show kindness and generosity to the homeless , but they also took the time to have conversations — connecting with people in a whole new way. They asked questions, heard their stories, and even celebrated some homeless people’s birthdays, singing happy birthday to them. They also took the time to pray for these people and offer words of hope to them by writing a message on the top of the container of the food: “Jesus Loves You.”

“My favorite part of the event is hearing people’s stories, hearing what their names are, and celebrating their birthdays,” said Esquerdo. “I love not only giving them a meal, but connecting with them.”

In July, LuLu’s Lucky Lentils held its second event, in which Esquerdo and her group of volunteers went back to Downtown Miami and delivered more meals to the homeless. For this event, Esquerdo was able to partner with the restaurant Calle 23 in Coral Gables, Fla., reaching out to the chef there. This connection allowed her to use their kitchen to be able to cook the rice and lentils for a larger capacity of people.

I love not only giving them a meal, but connecting with them.


Calle 23 also contributed to the event by donating food. Despite the weather being bad, Esquerdo and her volunteers were still able to successfully deliver 100 hot meals to the homeless. In this event, they also made care packages to give  that included masks and hand sanitizers. They even brought with them a cooler that included drinks, such as water and soda to give to the homeless.

“I feel like this project is a way of us being the hands and the feet of Jesus and making a difference in this world that so desperately needs kindness at this time,” said Esquerdo

Esquerdo was able to promote her project and get other people involved through a promotion on, a website devoted to promoting meaningful projects that make a difference in the community. Through this website, she was able to post what her project was about and provide a link to raise funds. So far she raised $425 from sponsors which helped her buy all the food and items she needed for the success of this event. She also spread word about her project through social media.

Since the start of the project, she has been receiving a lot of feedback from the community and from sponsors who would love to get involved in her project.

Esquerdo has a lot of plans for her LuLu’s Lucky Lentils. In the future she hopes to hold more events feeding the homeless — the goal being one every three months. She also hopes to double the number of homeless people she helps with and will continue partnering with other restaurants in every event she does. Eventually, she even plans to expand the type of meals she serves, providing more than just lentils to homeless people.

(For more information about LuLu’s Lucky Lentils, go HERE.)

–Aug. 17, 2021–