The People’s Kitchen at El Compadre serves free meals and social justice to those in need

frank lampard

At 7 a.m. one recent Tuesday morning, the crew from El Compadre already had their hands in the dirt of an urban farm in Point Breeze, clearing-out fallow beds and turning the soil of their newly acquired garden plots, even gathering their lucky first harvest, a bushy green purslane left by previous tenants.



a bowl of food on a table: Containers of rice with braised beef are filled at the People's Kitchen at El Compadre in Philadelphia, Pa. on July 15, 2020. The group made 200 meals for the needy.


© DAVID MAIALETTI/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS
Containers of rice with braised beef are filled at the People’s Kitchen at El Compadre in Philadelphia, Pa. on July 15, 2020. The group made 200 meals for the needy.

“Purslane is a very delicious weed that a lot of the gardeners don’t care about,” says Carly Pourzand, 27, an avid gardener who’s also been coordinating the transformation this spring of El Compadre into the People’s Kitchen, where these greens would soon be cooked.

A rotating crew of chefs

The restaurant, whose space had been in limbo since owners Cristina Martínez and

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