As soon as we started taking vegan food to communities in need during the coronavirus pandemic, we saw the immense benefit of it. Not only could we directly help people who desperately needed it, we were able to engage the media which highlighted to others the damage caused to people, planet and animals by eating and farming animals.
Having begun such a positive outreach programme, we felt immense sadness going into our final week of it. We started to ask ourselves: Why stop? Why not just keep going? And there seemed no good reason at all, so we will! And that means our final week of food donations in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico will not be our last community outreach work at all!
Feeding Those In Need In Brazil
Luisa has been an incredible supporter and she told us why it means so much to her: “We are fighting the serious consequences of Covid in our country. We know that many people are in serious difficulties. In addition to the disease, there is still the economic tragedy. The most important thing now is to raise awareness, we need to urgently take pandemics off the menu.”
When we first took meals to Portelinha a few weeks ago, we realised that some of the families there had eaten nothing else that day, and would not have eaten at all if we had not distributed food. And so we went back, and with the help of Base Colaborativa and Pimp My Carroça were able to distribute more than 800 meals to those in need.
We also took 500 meals to homeless people living on the streets of Pátio do Colégio, an area in the center of São Paulo. We took the food to them at night so they would not have to sleep on an empty stomach. Vivi Torrico who began the Solidariedade Vegan project when the pandemic began said: “Thank you for including us in the project. We are very happy. Distributing food in the streets already has its peculiarities but distributing it at night time, it’s quite an experience.”
Over the coming weeks we have plans to distribute another 1500 meals to those in need in Brazil.
Still Providing Vegan Food In Argentina
With the virus rate increasing in Argentina, it is more important than ever that we continue to provide healthy food to communities in need, along with hygiene products. And so, this week, alongside Aula Vereda, we continued to support 250 Buenos Aires families in Villa 31, Villa Cildañez and Almagro, all with food supplied by UTT. We also gave away bleach and hand sanitizers as, unfortunately, there was a case of Covid-19 in one of the care homes we help.
We also started giving away vegan food to an organization called No Tan Distintas, which helps trans women living on the streets. In total, 50 women were assisted. They also received a vegan recipe book and a leaflet with information about pandemics and veganism.
More Vegan Food In Mexico, Too
Throughout May, we delivered more than 12,000 plant-based meals across six cities, with our most recent work focused on Los Cabos, where we delivered 91 food boxes for people in vulnerable communities, and Playa del Carmen, where the soup kitchen at vegan community center Casa Animal continued its work. In all, volunteers there provided more than 7,500 vegan meals to people in need. We are so grateful to the 50 volunteers across the country who made this all possible.
India Vegan Giveaway Update
Following our provision of a fully vegan Eid meal for 2,000 people in Pune, the community was buzzing with excitement about the new foods they had tried. The company that had supplied the vegan meat, Good Dot, received a lot of enquiries and many people were excited to find out more about eating plant-based.
With funds still available, the work to take food to those in need in Pune will continue throughout June, and now beyond as well.
Ethiopia Schoolchildren Update
Our work to feed children in a primary school in Addis Ababa is temporarily on hold while the school is closed due to the virus. But, the funds are in place, and we can’t wait to share with you the photos from that school when it is allowed to reopen again.
World Environment Day
For World Environment Day (June 5), we were supported by some incredible celebrities who helped us create a film that has now been seen by millions of people. Brazilian superstar Anitta supported us and shared the #TakePandemicsOffTheMenu film with her 47 million followers! Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch did the same and encouraged people to sign up and try vegan for 31 days with us. Indian pop star Anushka Manchanda, Brazilian superstar Luisa Mell, Hollywood actress Alicia Silverstone and American singer Mýa also took part in our film alongside other incredible activists and supporting stars. Watch their film:
Madrid Action For World Environment Day
To highlight the links between the food we eat, environmental destruction and emerging pandemics, we took to the streets of Madrid to hand out delicious vegan fast food in the central district of Malasaña. Alongside the mini burgers, made by Fantastic V, we also gave out #TakePandemicsOffTheMenu stickers and talked to people about our work.
“We joined the campaign today because more than ever we’re at a point where we must help each other and raise awareness about the importance of collaboration,” said Cristina De La Pava Hucke of Fantastic V. “Understanding that each one of us does our part, we’ll come out of this stronger, more united, and better off.”
We totally agree!
We Reach Millions With The Vegan Message
Alongside our outreach and social media campaigns, we have been featured by media outlets across the world, and reached millions more people.
In Mexico, our food giveaways appeared on both national and state television as well as on radio and in many printed and online outlets. Our Brazilian manager, Isabel Siano, was interviewed on national television while Los Angeles TV station ABC covered our food donations to veterans in the city.
In Spain, we were featured on local television and in various podcasts; in Italy our work was featured in a magazine and in many online outlets.
In India, both The Hindustan Times and The Times of India wrote about our work, while in the UK, national newspaper The Independent covered our efforts to feed communities in need in east London.
In France and Argentina, there was much online coverage and, while we are still tallying the total number of people reached, we do know that it is many millions.