Since we pledged to donate one million plant-based meals to those in need around the world, we have been working hard towards that goal. We have partnered with charities, vegan food producers and other NGOs not just to help feed the hungry and those struggling but strengthen and broaden our compassionate community.
This is what we have been up to in the past few months…
Soup Kitchens in Mexico
Back in August, our Mexico Country Manager Jessica Gonzalez Castro turned two government-run soup kitchens plant-based for three weeks, providing them with all the ingredients they needed as well as a talk from a vegan nutritionist. Then, she arranged for a vegan chef and a local vegan food business Veggisima to teach the staff how to create delicious, healthy plant-based meals.
Over those three weeks, we were able to provide 6,050 vegan meals to those in need, and at the end, the soup kitchens decided to no longer serve meals containing animal products! They realized that people really loved the food and it was cheaper to make plant-based meals, too.
Black Women for Wellness
In October, our CEO Naomi Hallum worked with Vegan Outreach in Los Angeles to provide 150 Soul Bowls to Black Women for Wellness. Hugh’s Hot Bowls contained mac n’ cheeze, yams, corn bread, greens and beans, and were very well received.
Says Naomi: “Black Women for Wellness is committed to the health and well-being of women and girls through health education, empowerment and advocacy – so what better way to support these amazing women in their pursuit of wellness than by providing them and their families with a delicious, nutritious vegan food?”
Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles
At Million Dollar Vegan, we recognise that oppression of people and oppression of animals come from the same source, and we work towards justice and liberation for all. That’s why we teamed up with Vegan Or Nah and Vegan Outreach to supply 200 meals consisting of mushroom fried-chick’un sliders, walnut-meat tacos, paprika-garlic fries, and blueberry lemonade to Black Lives Matter in LA.
Says, Million Dollar Vegan CEO Naomi Hallum, “We came here today, not merely to support an important battle for justice, but to unite ourselves with it. Choosing not to support the destructive and discriminatory animal farming industry gets us one step closer to a society of compassion and equality. Finding out how good vegan food can taste brings some joy to the journey.”
School Children, Pune
In October, our India Country Manager Darshana Muzumdar coordinated the provision of delicious, healthy snacks to 1,000 school children in Pune. Darshana works to educate people about the health impacts of westernised junk food that is flooding into India, and was keen to demonstrate that traditional snacks – such as Ragi Ladoos (wholefood sweet balls), Shakti bars (power bars) and Chivda (an iron-, protein- and calcium-rich snack made with flattened rice, puffed millets, cornflakes, pulses, nuts, and spices) – could be delicious and healthy. Each child was also given a chocolate-flavored cashew and oat milk from our friends at Goodmylk.
Representatives of the local Legislative Assembly attended the event which was organized in collaboration with the Pune Municipal Corporation. Dr Alpana, who helped curate the snacks alongside Dr Neelambika, was happy to be involved: “One does not really have to depend on animal products like eggs or milk to derive nutrients. Our traditional preparations are very rich in all the required nutrients, and they are also really delicious and very affordable. We need to educate our people to go back to our healthy roots. I thank Million Dollar Vegan for taking this step, which I hope others will follow.”
Goody Bags to the V-Curious, Mexico
Our outreach also serves those who are considering becoming vegan but have not yet taken the step. This is why we donated vegan pizza and goody bags to people attending the Vegan Playa Festival in September. Of the 300 attendees, 240 were not yet vegan, and so we hope our gifts helped them to see that being vegan does not mean missing out!
World Environment Day, India
In September, we took dry provisions that would support 1,000 families for two weeks to people who had lost their homes and livelihoods to cyclone Nisarga. For this action, we partnered with Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and her husband entrepreneur Raj Kundra, as well as Neeti Goel of the charity Lala Bhagwandas Trust.
Darshana Muzumdar, who coordinated the outreach said “With the Covid-19 situation affecting so many especially with the loss of incomes and then the severity of climate change like cyclone Nisarga making it even worse, there’s no better time to realize the way our food choices influence our lives. This is the time to make a connection between the two and move to a completely plant-based diet.”
World Amazon Day, Latin America
With the world’s meat consumption driving deforestation in Amazonia, our Latin America Country Managers used the day to showcase plant-based meals. In Mexico, we donated 500 meals in Guadalajara, 100 in Playa del Carmen, 100 in Monterrey at the Animal Rebellion action, and another 100 at the Animal Rebellion action in Mexico City where official Million Dollar Vegan supporter and athlete Jean Herrera joined us to hand out 100 delicious burgers.
In Brazil, we supplied 2,000 meals to the families in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. We joined forces with Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira (SVB) and vegan restaurant Edi Sabor Natural to take plant-based foods to families in four remote communities: Agrovila, Ebenézer, Livramento and São Julião, as well as to people on the streets of the state’s capital, Manaus.
National Vegetarian Day, Spain
To celebrate this day, our Spain Country Manager Paula González coordinated the provision of 1,200 meals to three social dining rooms in Madrid that provide help and sustenance to families in need. Fourteen vegan restaurants cooked up a range of dishes such as veggie wraps, quinoa and vegetable bowls, soy and vegetable stew, cream of pumpkin soup, mushroom risotto, vegetable lasagne, and whole wheat spaghetti with lentil “meatballs”.
Since the pandemic, official estimates put the number of Madrid residents receiving aid at 133,000 and so we were delighted we could help. Says Paula: “We want to democratise a 100% vegetable diet as much as possible so that more people have access to healthy, high-quality, nutritious, delicious and reasonably priced vegan food”.
Victims of Hurricane Delta, Mexico
In early October, tens of thousands of people on the Yucatán peninsula were evacuated as hurricane Delta approached. Parts of Playa del Carmen were badly hit with homes lost or damaged. Our Mexico Country Manager Jessica Gonzalez Castro coordinated the delivery of 950 meals to one of the worst-hit communities.
World Vegan Day in Latin America
On World Vegan Day (Nov 1), our three Latin America Country Managers coordinated their actions under the banner #AméricaLatinaPelosAnimais (#LatamForTheAnimals) and used the day not just to donate food but to talk about the connection between farming animals and the risks of pandemics. This incredible initiative was supported by superstar actress and presenter Xuxa Meneghel.
… in Brazil
Isabel Siano arranged 5,300 meals to be donated in 13 Brazilian cities in conjunction with the Brazilian Vegetarian Society (SVB). In all, more than 100 people worked together to ensure food reached underprivileged communities and those who live on the streets.
… in Mexico
Jessica Gonzalez Castro coordinated 12 different actions across ten cities. In all, 5,980 meals were delivered to people in need in Los Cabos, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Saltillo, Aguascalientes, Michoacan, CDMX, Merida, Playa del Carmen, and Cancún.
… in Argentina
Our Country Manager Jacqueline Guzmán used the whole of November to promote vegan foods as accessible to all socioeconomic sectors, especially those in vulnerable situations due to Covid-19. Under the hashtag VeganoParaTodes (#VeganForEveryone), Jacqueline distributed 2,400 vegan meals – including seitan sandwiches, vegan chorizo with fries, bean “milanesas” with salad and hummus, and spaghetti with meatloaf – to families in Buenos Aires’ most underserved communities.
In Villa 31, one of the city’s biggest slums, one recipient Roberto told us: “The food is excellent. You’ll never get sick by eating this.” Another, Liliana, said: “The food is very tasty. It is good for us to learn about this food. We now realize we can cook many things with beans which we didn’t know before.”
Alongside the food we gave out a 16-page recipe book, which contained information about nutrition and economical plant-based cooking. Jacqueline also arranged three kinds of community actions throughout the month: popular pots (a community cook-up), barbecues and vegan cookery workshops.
World Vegan Day in the USA
Working with Vegan Evan we took vegan food to the Florida beachfront to highlight just how great plant-based fare can be. Dunedin Vegan Deli provided buffalo chick-un pizza, BBQ “pork” sammies, Italian “beef” melts, “egg” salad sandwiches, and Impossible Burgers. Says Evan: “People were coming back for seconds. They couldn’t believe vegan food could taste so good!”
World Vegan Day, UK
In the UK, we teamed up with Vegan Outreach Scotland, Roots Catering and BioCafe to deliver hot meals to homeless and otherwise vulnerable people living in Aberdeen. This compassionate action was supported by much-loved actor and vegan, Alan Cumming. He said: “The consequences of trashing the natural world are already around us: climate change, deforestation, species loss, pandemics. We have the power to change this, to protect the Earth and ourselves. And we can start right now, simply by changing the way we eat.”
At the same time, we partnered with vegan charity, Viva!, to provide 2,000 meals to homeless people and food banks in Bristol, a project that was supported by two of the city’s Members of Parliament as well as renowned artist and musician Robert del Naja.
You can support our initiative to #TakePandemicsOffTheMenu by switching to a plant-based diet today, or by signing up for our FREE 31-Day Vegan Challenge right here.Try Vegan