This month, we shared our millionth free vegan meal.
Sharing vegan food was an idea born out of the Covid-19 pandemic. We could see communities around us and around the world struggling with the impacts of it. So many people lost their livelihoods and struggled to access food and hygiene products. Others struggled with ill health, grief, and loneliness. Like so many people, we felt compelled to act wherever we could.
We partnered with local restaurants and caterers, volunteers and charities, to ensure wholesome delicious food reached those who needed it. Our teams worked in their own countries and also partnered with activists in other parts of the world. We started reaching out to underserved communities, and to the amazing people putting themselves at risk to treat and protect the public from the fast-spreading virus. We soon expanded our reach to help people who had survived natural disasters and those caught up in conflicts, and we supported initiatives and projects that were coordinated by marginalized communities.
We visited schools and orphanages, worked with soup kitchens, supported workshops and training, and did our best to bring a little joy into some difficult times. It’s been an incredible experience, and coordinating these food solidarity projects has fundamentally changed who we are and how we work.
So Many Highlights
Over the past two years, we have coordinated food solidarity and food justice events in 108 cities across 24 countries.
Every one was an opportunity for us to share food and information, but also to listen and to understand a different perspective. It was truly a reciprocal experience because when you support and care for other beings, you receive something priceless in return.
There have been two years of unforgettable actions, among them:
- providing meals to schoolchildren in three schools in Maasai Mara, Kenya
- supporting vegan groups in Ukraine who are providing food to people affected by the war
- sharing hot meals with unhoused veterans and school children in Los Angeles, USA, actions supported by actress Alicia Silverstone
- acting in solidarity with people evacuated from their homes due to Hurricane Delta in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
- serving food to unhoused people in São Paulo, Brazil, an action supported by actress Luisa Mell
- sharing food parcels with Sahrawi refugees in Bordeaux, France
- organizing activity days for children living in the slums and streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina
- supporting orphanages in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- providing help to people who lost their homes in the 2020 explosion in Beirut, Lebanon
- offering meals to social centers for disabled children and survivors of domestic violence in Morocco
- sharing meals with underserved communities in Mumbai, India, an action supported by Bollywood actress Sunny Leone
- providing hot meals to frontline healthcare workers in France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Dubai, and the UK
- enjoying a meal and dancing with older people in a home in Kecskemét, Hungary
- supporting Plant the Land as it distributed food parcels to displaced families in Gaza
- sharing a tasty meal with shoe-shiners in La Paz, Bolivia
- partnering with a local charity to share food with underserved communities in East London, UK, an action supported by singer-songwriter Paloma Faith
- delivering plant-based meal supplies to families in Uganda
- showcasing vegan foods to attendees of COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland
A New Path
Working with different communities, listening to their stories, and learning more about their lives and the forces that have shaped them, has changed everything for us as an organization.
It became ever more obvious that our own well-being is tied inextricably with the well-being of our planet and all the animals on it: Pandemics emerge when we destroy the natural world; antibiotic-resistance is driven by the overuse of antibiotics in factory farms; rearing animals for their meat, milk, and eggs generates vast amounts of greenhouse gasses; and the consumption of animal products is connected to some of the world’s leading causes of death, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Veganism sits at the center of all these issues, and is at least part of the solution for all the major health and environmental crises we face.
In the coming days, we will reveal new plans to help create a kinder, fairer, and safer world for all. Food justice will be at the center of our work because we want a world where every individual matters, where access to sufficient wholesome food is a given, and where our personal well-being is not at the cost of the lives and well-being of others.
A just and equitable world is possible, and we are committed to achieving it.