Million Dollar Vegan Pledges 50,000 Plant-Based Meals
When Covid-19 hit, we paused our usual campaigns – challenging world leaders to go vegan in exchange for a $1 million charitable donation – and instead directed our funds to supplying food aid. Not only did we want to act to help those most vulnerable during this pandemic, but we also wanted to raise awareness of the overwhelming benefits of veganism, including how it could prevent the next pandemic.
And so we supplied wholesome plant-based meals to homeless veterans in LA and to hospitals and care homes in Spain and Italy. We funded the provision of vegan meals for school children in Ethiopia, and distributed tens of thousands of meals among the poorest communities in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, France, the UK and India.
Then, in July, we heard that the Maasai Mara people of Kenya were struggling to survive. Without tourists coming to their region, the craft goods and trinkets they make could not be sold, and that left hundreds of families facing serious food shortages.
Maasai community leader Jack Lekishon (The Wise Man) told us: “I fear that hunger and starvation will even kill people more than the Covid-19 pandemic! Some going for weeks without food at all.”
Jack is a well-known and well-travelled Maasai conservationist and environmentalist, and he understands only too well the connection between environmental destruction and zoonotic diseases. Since the pandemic abruptly ended the livelihoods of many in his community, he has been “on a mission” to raise awareness of their plight and to provide practical help.
We are delighted to work alongside him and his incredible volunteers to provide wholesome plant foods to those most in need.
The Maasai give-away began early in August. On day one, 100 families in three Talek villages (Olrkasoe, Singilayo, and Olkinyei) received food packages containing maize flour, green grams, fresh vegetables and cooking oil. On day two, Jack travelled to the Osero villages, to take food to another 100 families, having already met with the village elders to discuss the equal distribution of these goods.
In all, Million Dollar Vegan will donate 50,000 meals over two months to the Maasai people. Since some areas also lack water with which to cook the food, we are ensuring a supply of water, too, as well as providing masks, and hygiene and sanitary products.
We have been surprised and humbled to receive so many kind wishes from the recipients, including a beautiful song performed by the local women of Olkinyei, singing alongside the food aid volunteers.
We are so grateful to our donors whose generosity allows us to help those most in need, and not only to provide wholesome plant-based foods, but to keep sharing the message that the best way to take pandemics off the menu, is to put plants on it.