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Salsarita’s aims to fight homelessness with tacos

Charlotte-based Salsarita’s is partnering with the Urban Ministry Center to help fight homelessness, the company and the nonprofit said this week.

As part of the effort, all proceeds from tacos sold at Salsarita’s 11 Charlotte-area locations on Monday will be donated to Urban Ministry.

Yanira Castro, Salsarita’s director of marketing, said the fast-casual Mexican restaurant met with a variety of charities before deciding to partner with Urban Ministry. The company picked that group because Urban Ministry addresses a broad range of issues, including people with mental illness, poverty, troubled military veterans and more.

“We just felt this instant connection,” said Castro. She said Salsarita’s business fits with Urban Ministry’s mission. “Food is one of those things that brings people together.”

Salsarita’s employees will also volunteer with Urban Ministry, serving food and donating services, the company said.

Dale Mullenix, Urban Ministry’s executive director, said he hopes the partnership with Salsarita’s will spur other corporations to help.

“I think it starts conversations at other corporations,” he said. “Salsarita’s has this opportunity to be kind of a model for other corporations in town.”

The most valuable part of volunteer support at Urban Ministry is getting people to interact with the homeless, Mullenix said.

“The thing that has the longest impact is when they come down here and spend time,” he said. “They get a broader understanding about what’s happening with people who are homeless.”

Salsarita’s, founded in Charlotte in 2000, operates more than 80 locations, many of them franchised.

Portillo: 704-358-5041 On Twitter @ESPortillo
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