(CNN)When Jacob Kaufman first stumbled upon the art of muffin baking, he never imagined he'd turn into the "Muffin Man."
He'd bake muffins for the homeless and now it's turning into a national movement
"I was just looking for a easy breakfast for my mornings before work," Kaufman told CNN.
It was sundown after Yom Kippur, and Kaufman was standing in his uncle's kitchen watching him whip up a creamy, muffin batter. Kaufman had never made muffins before, so he decided to give it a try. He found a recipe online, and voila. A dozen apple cinnamon muffins were made.
Later, as he walked down the streets of San Francisco, he noticed a few people who were homeless and offered some of his muffins.
The second week, he made two dozen. By the time he made it to work, Kaufman was out of muffins.
"It wasn't so much that more people were becoming homeless, but I was training myself to see more homeless people," he said. "Most of the time, you train yourself almost not to see homeless people. It's unsightly. It's uncomfortable."
But Kaufman understood that he was giving these people more than just muffins. He was acknowledging them as people worthy of our attention.
"Actually handing them the muffins was the most important, special part because it gave us a time to connect," he said.
Fast forward five years, and Kaufman, 36, on his own has baked more than 4,500 muffins.
And along the way, he's met some new friends, like 34-year-old Julia Levy, who heard about Kaufman's story and wanted to get involved -- even if she was on the East Coast in New York.