The global vegan nonprofit organisation delivered 1,000 free meals by bicycle on December 30 to essential workers, youth centres, the elderly and people in shelters in Los Angeles, as part of Million Dollar Vegan’s mission to deliver one million free meals by 2022.
Million Dollar Vegan advocates taking pandemics off the menu by adopting a vegan diet along with providing education about the public health, environmental and ethical benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. So far, the organisation has provided over 300,000 free meals in more than fourteen countries.
The nonprofit is purchasing the meals from four local restaurants – Concierge Kitchen, Sugar Taco, Veggie Grill and Voodoo Vegan – and deploying two-wheeled volunteers to deliver food to locations including the Hollywood Food Coalition, Southern California Hospital at Hollywood, Los Angeles LGBT Center, TransLatin@ Coalition, volunteers at Project Angel Food and two elderly-living facilities in Hollywood Plaza.
“This is the first time that we have decided to form a meal train so that cyclists can deliver large volumes of food to those that need it while staying socially distanced. We have done giveaways of a thousand meals before, but we wanted to make this one a little special because of the holidays, the time when people in need are often forgotten. We want to make sure that we are reaching out to people, people who may otherwise go hungry as well as essential workers who, unlike the majority of us, don’t necessarily get to spend the holidays at home with their families. In addition to shelters, youth centers and the elderly, we’ll be delivering meals to hospital workers and other essential workers,” said Naomi Hallum, CEO of Million Dollar Vegan.
The Great Vegan Meal Train is backed by celebrities, famous athletes and renowned physicians, such as actress Alicia Silverstone, musician-activist Moby, singer Mya, WWE wrestler Ryback Reeves, Team USA Olympic volleyball player Dustin Watten, Dr. Angie Sadeghi and Dr. Kim Williams.
Part of Million Dollar Vegan’s aim is to bolster vegan businesses struggling in the wake of the pandemic.
“This is a terrible time for restaurants, too. We are not asking any of them to donate food and nobody can afford to do that during these difficult times. Our mission to deliver one million meals is also aimed at supporting restaurants and small businesses, buying food from them during a time when they’re struggling for business and taking it to people who wouldn’t normally have access to food like this,” said Hallum.
Million Dollar Vegan grabbed international headlines when Sir Paul McCartney teamed with teen activist Genesis Butler to challenge The Pope to go vegan for Lent in exchange for a $1 million donation to charity. The organisation distributes free vegan starter kits and invites everyone to take the 31-day vegan challenge. Participants receive daily recipes, inspiration, health and nutritional information, videos, and other guidance and support during the challenge to help make the journey easy.
Sign up on the Million Dollar Vegan website at https://www.milliondollarvegan.com/go-vegan/.
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