Bautista Project Inc. and Companybox: Partnership for Pandemic Relief
When Covid-19 struck, CompanyBox had an opportunity to give to those in need by offering to print food-safe boxes for companies. Marla and Ulisses Bautista, Co-Founders of The Bautista Project Inc., had already been providing basic living essentials, educational resources, and other necessary resources to assist homeless community members with reintegration. When they found CompanyBox’s offer online, the duo jumped on the opportunity to provide meals to their community in eco-friendly boxes.
“The food safe boxes included wax paper for the interior. This made for an incredibly easy option, especially when it came to stacking, loading, transporting, and delivering them,” Co-Founder and CEO Marla Bautista said. “But, because of the level of need, the boxes went quickly.”
A heart to uplift
After the Bautistas ran out of the initial shipment of food safe boxes, they got creative. For the people receiving free meals, they explained their willingness to take, sanitize, and reuse their containers. However, this solution came with a downside: coming up with and abiding by safe pickup methods in order to protect themselves and their 8-month-old son during a pandemic.
Their method included having Ulisses pick up the containers while wearing gloves, double bagging the containers, sterilizing in their dishwasher, and grouping them to ensure the correct containers got back to the right people. This process has obviously become a huge undertaking for the couple.
Despite the burden, the pair are passionate about helping veterans and homeless individuals in their area. As a young adult, Marla experienced homelessness and knows firsthand how difficult life can be without the support of others. Because of that experience, she’s remained determined to find a way to provide food and supplies to those in need, spread love, and uplift and educate homeless community members. One of those ways is the Belonging Box – a box filled with basic hygiene items.
We’re all part of the human family
“We found a way to plan our own meals in a way that lends to bulk cooking because of budget restrictions – like so many others during this pandemic on a very limited income,” Bautista said. “We joke that it’s true ‘family style’ because we’re all part of the human family.” Ulisses is a member of the U.S. Army who mentors veterans, helping them regain a sense of pride. He recently found out that he’ll be placed on active duty soon, which has left the couple trying to figure out a plan to continue free meals deliveries to the community with Marla taking on the entirety of the operation’s responsibilities.
CompanyBox and The Bautista Project Inc. are currently working together to create more food- safe, recyclable boxes to serve the community. In addition to the Belonging Box, the non-profit organization has developed several other focused projects. If you’re interested in supporting this worthy cause, please visit The Bautista Project to see the many ways to donate.