With another 46,000 meals donated this month in Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, India, the UK, Spain and France, we are surely and steadily moving towards our goal of donating one million vegan meals by the end of the year.
Paloma Faith supports our work in London
This month, we were delighted to partner once again with Made in Hackney, an east London charity that provides a community meal service to families, the elderly, young people in hostels, hostel residents, those on low incomes, and people who are shielding due to Covid. We were able to fund 1,920 meals in an action that attracted the support of singer-songwriter and local resident Paloma Faith. Paloma told us:
“This pandemic has changed all our lives and reaching out to support those left vulnerable is a wonderful act of kindness by Million Dollar Vegan and Made in Hackney. I’m delighted to support their program to provide delicious plant-based meals to those who need them most in east London. It’s a beautiful act of love and doesn’t the world need a bit more of that?”
One person who joined the food service said it was the first time they’d had food in the house for four days, as the main money-earner had lost income suddenly and they were waiting for benefits to come through.
Another household told us that the extra children’s meals during half-term was an absolute lifesaver and meant the adults in the house didn’t have to go without food.
Another person – a former junior doctor – is a severe stroke survivor and on a very low benefit income. He told us that the meals, along with the regular contact with Made In Hackney’s couriers, had got him through since March.
Helping the Homeless in Paris
In a follow-up action to our Christmas Day food distribution, a dozen volunteers took to the streets of Paris to give out 40 hot meals and drinks, all made by My Kitch’n. We were able to also distribute floor mats, clothing, hygiene products, children’s games and food for companion animals to those in need. The volunteers were really happy to meet some of the same people they had seen on Christmas Day, and hoped that seeing friendly and familiar faces helped the recipients feel less isolated.
Love is in the Air in Madrid
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Million Dollar Vegan teamed up with local restaurant el Obradoiro de Romero Verde, and mock meat company Heura, to create and hand out 400 delicious plant-based meals for free to people in the city.
The chefs created 200 plates of Pad Thai made with rice noodles, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, roasted Heura, red cabbage, peanut sauce, and toasted sesame seeds. And another 200 vegan kebabs made with spiced Heura, vegan cheese, spinach, quinoa, roasted red pepper, and cabbage.
One of the chefs and co-founders of El Obradoiro de Romero Verde, Sonia Romero, told us: “Participating in the action ‘Amor de Barrio’ is a privilege and an honour for us because we’ll be able to reach more people from the neighbourhood through our food.”
Her co-founder, Carmen Romaní was grateful for the support at a time when their restaurant is battling to survive. “We’re especially excited because we want people to discover vegan food, and see it as an option from now on, and even, maybe, tear down some of the prejudices that people could have towards it.”
Sharing the Love Across Mexico
Our Valentine’s message of love and justice also spread out to six cities in Mexico, as we partnered with local restaurants to provide 900 meals. We asked everyone who came for a meal to take another one away with them and share it with someone in a vulnerable situation, creating a chain of compassion.
Onna from the restaurant Na Tlali in Mexico City said: “We feel super grateful to be able to help other people with healthy and cruelty-free food, and it’s a great opportunity to share the message of empathy behind veganism that reaches all species including our own.”
Eduardo from Panza Vegana in Merida said: “We took food to the people waiting at the O’Horan hospital but on the way we met a man who was wandering the street. We gave him a meal and his reaction moved me a lot, you could see the sincerity in his words when he told us ‘thank you so much, I haven’t eaten all day.’”
Alin Padilla from Poderosa in Queretaro said: “Being invited to participate with an organization like Million Dollar Vegan has been a great opportunity and we are so grateful to support and inform people about the benefits of a plant-based diet. Thank you Million Dollar Vegan for inviting us to be part of this wonderful action.”
And in Playa del Carmen, our MDV-branded tricycles joined the Vegan Bike Club to offer Corazon Contento burgers to 300 people who were walking along the avenues, streets and beach. Within 20 minutes we had delivered every last one. On the packaging, was a QR code that directs people to one of our blogs about how to have more love in their lives. The perfect Valentine’s gift!
Valentine’s Day in Pune, India
Our team in India went to Vetal Hill, the highest point within the city, to spread some love on “Vegantine’s Day”. Over 200 people who had come for a relaxing walk or to exercise on the hill took the challenge of watching part of Dominion Movie, in exchange for some tasty vegan versions of popular dishes. This action was part of Animal Save Movement India’s ‘Don’t Look Away’ campaign, and we were delighted that so many people were willing to watch the film and make the connection.
One of the participants explained: “We haven’t been exposed to this kind of information even when we watch YouTube daily. This is not what we see on a regular basis. A lot of us are just not aware of what is happening. I think being aware is the first step to any real change.”
His friend added, “And making us taste food which is not chicken-based but it is as yummy… I mean vegan food can be yummy! This chilli chycken and mutton biryani… we definitely can’t make out it’s not the real thing.”
Partnering with our Friends in Lebanon
After the explosion in Beirut last summer, we partnered with Lebanese Vegans to provide meals to 2,000 people who had lost their homes, and we are proud to continue our relationship with activists in the city. This month, we pledged a further 18,000 meals to go to people interested in veganism, as well as families in need in Beirut. The meals will be made in the newly opened Vegan Support Center and will be distributed by Seb Alex and Lebanese Vegans.
Supporting Maasai Communities in Kenya
With the loss of tourism almost overnight, the Maasai indigenous communities in central and southern Kenya lost much of their income. Million Dollar Vegan continues to offer support via our friend and Maasai community leader Jack Lekishon. In February, we donated a further 25,000 meals through food parcels, which Jack and his team of volunteers distributed.
He told us: “Despite the heavy rains, we were able to reach and deliver to approximately 215 of the most vulnerable families, though it was a bit challenging for fueling the land-cruisers that helped us go through the muddy roads to accomplish our mission. Each local woman received 12kgs of maize meal flour, 2 litres of cooking oil, 2 kgs of green grams and 2 kgs of green vegetables. This will feed a family for approximately 30 days.Your kind donation has made a huge difference to many lives that would have been starving and going to bed on empty stomachs. God bless you and MDV in general.”