LA’s first vegan food bank: helping underserved Angelinos with healthy and compassionate food since launching in May 2022.
Los Angeles, CA, November 22, 2022, 3:30pm — The new L.A. Vegan Food Bank is feeding people and rocking out the revolutionary concept of food equality. This wildly popular, 100% vegan, program helps Los Angeles citizens get the food they need, while also saving animals from slaughter and lowering the carbon footprint of those who partake. Fact: plant-based food has a much lower emissions price tag than meat or dairy.
Of course, trend-setting LA has long been a mecca for vegan restaurants. But, not everyone can afford to eat at a restaurant. Now, economically challenged Angelinos, who might have been condemned to eat junk or nothing at all, can go home with a basket of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and plant-based products after a fun-filled trip to the LA food bank.
This project, launched by Vegans of L.A. in May 2022, in partnership with Hope On Union Food Bank, has been a success thanks to founder and manager Gwenna Hunter. Finding herself at the intersection of two liberation movements, Black Lives Matter and animal rights, she has been very active and become one of America’s most cutting-edge and talked-about social justice campaigners, recently featured on GenV. UnchainedTV’s Jane Velez-Mitchell interviewed her to learn more about this most recent project that’s inspiring a lot of people! You can watch the entire conversation here.
The First-of-its-Kind Food Bank
The Cleveland-raised Gwenna Hunter is the founder of Vegans of L.A. and of Vegans for Black Lives Matter, which aims to show that vegans also care deeply about the plight of humans. Now, she has created the first brick-and-mortar L.A. Vegan Food Bank. She explains why:
“I had been working for Vegan Outreach for several years and got to do so much food outreach for different social justice organizations and different black and brown communities. I love the work, but I just wanted to start doing it on my own terms. When I researched it, I found that there was no vegan food bank in Los Angeles.”
The food bank is located at 2208 South Union Avenue, and it operates every third Thursday of the month from 8 AM to 10 AM. During the holidays it will be on December 8th. Someone shows up at 4 AM to start organizing the food, and by 7 AM there is already a line down the block. They now get at least 300 customers in a two-hour period.
“Most of the people who attend the food bank have access to kitchens and can cook, so they’re grateful to get some fresh produce. And, we introduced them to some amazing plant-based products.”- Gwenna Hunter, founder of L.A. Vegan Food Bank
Helping Others Feels Good
If you feel inspired, you can help. People can volunteer and directly help on the day, or the day before to help to sort out food items. You can go to the website vegansofla.com, on Instagram @vegansoflosangeles and DM from there, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and offer to help. There is only one condition:
“We ask people not to wear T-shirts that have sarcastic or shaming messages about being carnist or eating meat, because that’s not what this is for. We’re treating everyone with love and with kindness and that’s the route we’re going with this. We just ask that people come and show up with a heart ready to serve and to receive love because you get so much of it when you’re there.”
They also need funding, so people can donate, which may be tax deductible:
“I am fiscally sponsored by Better Food Foundation, so, if you donate even through my Network for Good portal, you’ll get a receipt that says that. Whether you donate $50,000 or donate $50, you should – other considerations aside – be able to get a tax deduction for this.”
Others who can also help are food organizations, food distribution companies, or restaurants, that can donate products, or donate hot vegan meals. Several companies are already doing this, such as Hodo Foods, Good Catch, Hilary’s, OMNI Foods, Unreal Deli and more. These compassionate companies are keen to make their products available to people who live in food deserts.
“The shift is happening. It’s not going to happen, it’s not about to happen, it’s happening right now. And everybody can participate, whether you work full time or whether you stay at home. There are so many different things that you can do.”- Gwenna Hunter, founder of L.A. Vegan Food Bank
What's Your Reaction?
Jordi Casmitjana is a vegan zoologist and author.