People are in need of help, and vegans have been answering the call. The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis has already affected many people in life-altering ways, as one in five American workers have filed for unemployment since March. Essential healthcare workers have also been striving tirelessly to save those who have contracted the disease, get others tested, and stop the spread of the virus. Many vegan restaurant owners, who are feeling the pain themselves, have been giving vegan donations and organizing food banks to help support their communities. Going vegan is a strong personal action that can help cut off the next pandemic at its source, so it’s important that more people are learning how tasty and healthy vegan food can be.
Here are just a few of the ways vegans are having a positive impact on their communities:
Our Vegans for the Vulnerable initiative is asking supporters to pick up an extra vegan pantry staple with their groceries to donate to their local food bank in order to help out those in need, since food banks are struggling to keep up with the demand.
PETA Latino partnered with Chipotle and Baskin-Robbins to donate vegan burritos and vegan ice cream, respectively, to frontline hospital workers at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista, California. The hospital, which has been hard hit, is caring for COVID-19 patients from both sides of the U.S./Mexico border.
Support + Feed (Los Angeles, New York City, and Philadelphia)
The Support + Feed program donates vegan meals to essential workers and food banks while supporting local vegan businesses. Founded by Maggie Baird (the mother of vegan Billie Eilish and her wonderful brother Finneas), Support + Feed allows customers to donate through their favorite vegan restaurants and connects those restaurants to organizations that assist people who have been affected by the crisis. For more information and to donate, visit the Support + Feed website.
Modern Love With Chilis on Wheels (Brooklyn, New York)
Award-winning vegan chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her Modern Love restaurant in Brooklyn have partnered with vegan food relief organization Chilis on Wheels to provide local residents in need with meals. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in May, the Modern Love Community Meals program will serve vegan food, including delicious dishes such as Mac & Shews, Chickpea Cutlets & Gravy, burrito bowls, and lentil chili with cornbread. Chilis on Wheels delivers free meals from Modern Love to surrounding communities on Fridays and Saturdays, while food can be purchased for $2 directly from the restaurant on Thursdays.
Shimmy Shack (Plymouth, Michigan)
Vegan and gluten-free food truck Shimmy Shack is launching Michigan’s first 100% vegan and gluten-free food pantry, Shimmy’s Cupboard. The food pantry, which will open in Plymouth, will offer educational programs and a safe, welcoming space for community members to access healthy food. Visit the Shimmy’s Cupboard website to donate and help get the pantry off to a strong start.
Golden Dinosaurs Vegan Deli (Gulfport, Florida)
This vegan restaurant and bakery has organized community support to deliver meals to healthcare workers fighting on the frontlines of the crisis. Owners Audrey and Brian Dingeman, with support from their loyal customers, created the Golden Dinosaurs Vegan Deli Healthcare Helpers program, which allows people to purchase box lunches that are prepared and delivered to healthcare workers. The deli partnered with Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and provided 1,100 boxes as of April 28—560 boxes away from its goal of feeding all 1,700 staff members. Golden Dinosaurs’ lunch boxes are available to donate individually or in bulk and include a vegan sandwich, side, and house-made dessert. For more information, visit the Golden Dinosaurs website.
Word of Mouth Truck with Polo’s Pantry (Los Angeles)
Word of Mouth Truck, a Los Angeles–based food truck that offers vegan comfort food, teamed up with mobile food pantry Polo’s Pantry to help give a hearty vegan meal of a burger and fries to people in the homeless community in Los Angeles. To donate a meal, visit Word of Mouth Truck’s website.
Amy’s Kitchen (Northern California)
Amy’s Kitchen donated more than 150,000 meals to food banks, hospitals, and organizations that serve the elderly and children in need. It has also distributed 36,000 face masks to medical professionals in the company’s local communities and is offering free meals to first responders and healthcare professionals at its drive-through restaurant in Rohnert Park, California.
Community Solidarity (multiple locations in New York)
This vegan food bank in New York has been safely providing low-income communities with vegan groceries during the COVID-19 crisis. Its volunteers have set up a system in which families can receive food without leaving their cars, to help maintain social distancing.
Honeybee Burger (Los Feliz, California)
Honeybee Burger donated vegan burgers to frontline healthcare workers in the local community and is looking for more groups to help support during the crisis.
Modern Times Beer (San Diego, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon)
Vegan brewery Modern Times set up a coffee and pastry donation system to help treat frontline nurses in California and Oregon to a pick-me-up and to thank them for their hard work. To donate a can of cold brew or a fresh vegan pastry, visit the Modern Times website.
Going vegan is the best thing that you can do for all animals, including humans. When you do so, you save the lives of nearly 200 animals every year. You can also help PETA in its effort to shut down filthy slaughterhouses, where many workers have contracted COVID-19 and are exposed to other dangerous conditions.