Mobile Kitchen Operator Will Help Woman Feed DC's Homeless on Christmas

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A Maryland mother who supported the homeless by providing Christmas meals for a decade received the support of the community to continue her mission this holiday after experiencing homelessness herself.

While she’s in a home now, Angela Cowan doesn’t have the space to cook her huge yearly feast, so she put out a call for help on News4 Wednesday for someone to donate kitchen space.

“Oh my goodness, it was so much,” she said. “It was so much outpouring from the community.

Among that outpour was a man known as “Tailgate Ted,” who operates a mobile kitchen out of his van.

“Sitting on the couch watching channel four one evening, and I saw the story come up, and it really just touched my heart hearing what she does and dedicates her time on Christmas Eve and on Christmas to feed those of us that are a little less fortunate,” Tailgate Ted said.

Cowan appreciates all the viewers who offered to help. She felt Ted’s setup was the best fit for what she needs this year, her 10th year feeding the homeless on Christmas.

“I just felt a good vibe with it, and I said, ‘OK, this is it,’” she said.


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Tailgate Ted, who lives in Northeast D.C., will use his van to cook chicken, mashed potatoes, collard greens and other holiday staples.

A diehard Washington Football Team fan, he feeds hundreds of people at FedEx Field on game days.

The NFL converted his van into a mobile kitchen through its Tackle My Ride promotion several years ago because of his years of charity work.

“This is her show, this something she’s been doing for a long time, now, and I’m just happy to be a small part of it to make sure it keeps going,” Tailgate Ted said.

They’ll start cooking very early Saturday then deliver dinners to those living on the street starting at 7 a.m.

“We’ll be in the dwell ways, we’ll be under the bridges, we will be in the subways – everywhere they are, they’re getting fed tomorrow,” Cowan said.

Cowan started the tradition to teach her children about the power of giving and helping. Thanks to the generosity of the community, the tradition will continue this year and for years to come.

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