Nonprofit Million Dollar Vegan (MDV) has distributed one million free plant-based meals to communities around the world.
Since the start of the pandemic, MDV has worked alongside volunteers, independent vegan businesses, and local charities. Together, they have brought food to where it is needed most.
The promise to donate one million meals was made in March 2020. It has also distributed things like hygiene products and tools.
Pandemic solidarity in the form of food and community
MDV works to the principle that having access to adequate and enjoyable nutrition is a basic human right. As well as donating plant-based meals, the organization educates communities about the benefits of vegan cooking.
“We could see many communities struggling with the loss of income and access to basic healthcare. Some people felt isolated and lonely. Others were desperately worried about their livelihoods and futures,” Naomi Hallum, CEO of Million Dollar Vegan said in a statement.
She added: “It seemed more important than ever that we connect with people, learn from them, provide support where we could, and showcase veganism as compassion in action.”
MDV considers its meal donations as acts of solidarity. COP26 attendees in Glasgow, schoolchildren in Kenya, and unhoused veterans in Los Angeles are amongst the numerous beneficiaries of its global projects.
Vegan food for a healthier future
Leading climate expert Dr. Peter Carter explicitly stated that a move to veganism is “imperative for survival,” in the wake of the climate emergency. Plant-based diets have also been heralded as beneficial for personal health. They’ve even been linked with a reduced risk of serious diseases including heart disease and cancer.
Following the pandemic, which killed more than 6.4 million people, research suggests consumers are showing more interest in plant-based diets. This, despite the NHS recommending meat and dairy for Covid-19 recovery (which was debunked here).
Hallum said: “One thing is certain: our own health is connected to that of the planet and animals, and when we harm one, we do harm to all.”
“Pandemics emerge when we destroy the natural world; antibiotic resistance is driven by the overuse of antibiotics in factory farms; rearing animals for their meat, milk, and eggs generates vast amounts of greenhouse gasses; while the consumption of animal products is connected to some of the world’s biggest killers, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.”
“Eating plant-based addresses all these issues and more, and helps us create the future we all want.”
MDV will continue with its solidarity projects, despite its one million meal donation target being met.