While the pandemic still makes it difficult for many people to get a meal, Food day (October 16) turns into a moment of reflection and awareness about the serious situation faced by those who suffer from hunger. And it was to act in the fight against the humanitarian crisis generated by Covid-19 that the NGO Million Dollar Vegan pledged to donate at least 1 million meals, of which more than 500,000 have already been delivered.
Challenge to the Pope
At the beginning of the crisis caused by Covid-19, the organization, known for the campaign that challenged the Pope Francis experimenting with veganism in Lent in 2019, it decided to focus its efforts on distributing animal-free meals to homeless people, underserved communities and essential service workers around the world.
In the week of Food Day, the Million Dollar Vegan celebrates having already surpassed half of the proposed goal, with 529,036 meals donated in 22 countries and 85 cities. In Brazil, lunchboxes or basic food baskets reached several communities in 15 cities across the country, including people living on the streets and the outskirts of São Paulo, riverside communities around Manaus and residents of squatters near Brasília, for example.
The donations already made in Brazil are equivalent to about 15 thousand meals in plant-based foods and new actions are planned in the country's capital this month and in the capital of São Paulo, in November.
The actions include dishes such as feijoada, pasta and snacks such as cheese breads and cheese and ham sandwiches – all vegetable 100% – in addition to herbal food baskets with products such as rice, beans, tomato sauce, pasta, vegetable oil, among others, which reach those most in need through the action of the NGO, with the support of partners and volunteers.
Message to end health problems
In addition to the food aid offered at the time when the United Nations Organization to the Food and Agriculture (FAO) estimates that nearly 50 million Brazilians live in a situation of severe or moderate food insecurity, the Million Dollar Vegan carries an important message with the food provided: that pandemics such as the coronavirus occur and will continue to occur as long as our society does not transform our system food, prioritizing plant-based foods.
“We believe that access to healthy food and information on how to eat healthily and sustainably is everyone's right”, he says. Isabel Siano, Campaign Manager for Million Dollar Vegan.
For the organization, making a dish without items of animal origin is to remove pandemics from the menu, as 3 out of 4 emerging infectious diseases arise from animals, according to UN. Million Dollar Vegan believes that health crises reveal that our exploitative relationship with animals is threatening us.
Tuberculosis, measles, whooping cough, typhoid fever, leprosy and the cold have something in common: they are diseases that “jumped” from animals to people from the moment humanity began to domesticate, raise and exploit animals. So the organization spreads the message that to prevent another pandemic, we need to change our relationship with animals, and that starts by taking them off the plate.
About A Million Dollar Vegan
Million Dollar Vegan is an international non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about the environmental, ethical, personal and public health benefits of adopting a plant-based lifestyle. In addition to providing free nutrition content and support for people wanting to discover veganism, Million Dollar Vegan distributes vegetable-based meals and food baskets to those hardest hit by the pandemic. In all of its campaigns and actions, the central focus of the work is to educate people about how a change to a plant-based diet can benefit everyone.