Everyone, regardless of their circumstances, deserves access to nourishing meals. This is the founding principle of Vegans of Los Angeles Food Bank, which is working to ensure food security while championing healthier dietary choices for the residents of Southern California. They aim to provide not just sustenance, but also a sense of dignity and positivity among those seeking aid.
Founder, Gwenna Hunter, was inspired to create the vegan food bank after she experienced food insecurity herself. “At one point I had $5 to feed myself for the week. It was one of the scariest and most stressful times of my entire existence” she says. “I personally know what it feels like to wonder how you are going to feed yourself and survive. It can be a very dark feeling that depletes your hope.”
Gwenna says that a vegan food bank would have saved her from so much stress. Locally sourced, seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and beans line the shelves, alongside plant-based products donated by companies such as All Vegetarian Inc, Hodo Foods, Good Catch, OmniFoods and Just Egg. Individuals can select items that cater to their family’s dietary preferences and needs, giving a personalized and respectful approach to assistance.
Given the growing number of scientific studies that confirm the health benefits of a plant-based diet, the need for more plant-based nutrition is critical. This food bank challenges the idea that we need to eat animal products to be healthy, as well as instilling patrons with a sense of hope and pride.