Our Story

In April 2008 Molly McKeown was walking in the Village of Carlsbad to a friend’s house. During the course of her walk she was approached by several homeless asking for a meal or money to buy food. Having nothing to give them, Molly continued on her walk. All of a sudden her eyes were opened to the needs of the homeless in the community.

She had never noticed them before; a group sitting at the fountain, a man sleeping at the Coaster station, a woman walking her bike down the sea wall. Distressed by the number of people who approached her and heart broken that she had nothing to give them Molly started to contemplate what she could do. What did she possibly have to give?

That’s when she thought the simple idea, “I have a kitchen, I can cook.” She offered the idea to her sister Morgan who supported it and saw it as an opportunity to get people involved in the community. Morgan jumped at the chance to do something tangible. The two sister’s endeavor started as sack dinners and has now grown into a two city operation offering friendship and a warm meal to upwards of 200 people a week.

Check out our Fill-a-Belly video for more information on how we got started!


Relationship – Every person wants to be known by someone else, to know that they are cared about and not invisible or worthless. At Fill a Belly everyone eats together, volunteers and guests alike. We build relationships through sharing a meal, playing games and talking with
each other.
Good Food – Fill-a-Belly focuses on creating healthy and balanced meals using fresh and delicious ingredients. All of our meals are cooked with pride never using food that has expired or is not of the best quality. We focus on flavor and stand by the rule, “if we won’t eat it, we won’t serve it.”
Empowerment not Dependence – Fill a Belly allows its guests to help with the behind the scenes work such as preparation, cooking, serving, cleaning etc. We want our guests to feel a sense of ownership over the evening and engage themselves in whatever way they are comfortable.
Fulfilled Life – Fill-a-Belly’s ultimate goal is to encourage wholeness and life lived to the fullest for every human being.

Who We Serve

Our goal is to break down the “buffet line barrier” between volunteers and guests often found in homeless outreaches.

  • Homeless or Travelers – We refer to those we serve as our guests
  • Anyone from the community who needs a hot meal and some companionship.
  • Low income families.
  • People with mental illnesses.
  • People with addictions.
  • Each other.


  • Molly McKeown – Founder
  • Morgan McKeown – Founder
  • Steve Ballas & Mike Debbas – Carlsbad Facilitator
  • Travis Sills, Ramy Eden & Todd Pazdur – Encinitas Facilitators

Fine Print

Fulfilled Life, Inc. d.b.a. Fill-A-Belly (“FLI”) is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation. Federal income tax law requires us to inform you that no goods or services were provided to you in return for your gift. Therefore, within the limits prescribed by law, consistent with IRC Section 170 the full amount of your gift is tax deductible.Our Federal Tax ID # is 27-0188921.

Weekly Dinners