In 2022, Gwenna Hunter joined forces with Hope on Union to introduce Vegans of Los Angeles Food Bank, the first and only food bank offering Los Angeles residents a monthly distribution of vegan food options, according to a press release. This concept aims to “provide nutritious, plant-based food to our communities while promoting planetary unity and advocating for the right to healthy meals for all families.”
“When I started this a year ago, I knew I wanted to give people what their bodies need: healthy food on a contiguous basis minus our planets’ animals,” Hunter said in the release.
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The food bank offers in-season fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, beans, and more. To make this possible, Hunter partnered with local organizations, including All Vegetarian Inc., Califia Farms, Chobani, Omni Foods and Just Eggs, that donate additional plant-based products for distribution. When someone shows up at the food bank, they receive a bag of groceries of their choice foods, which VLAFB can help with through their “Build a Bag” process, which people have enjoyed.
“In times like these, people are lining up around the block at the crack of dawn to receive their donations and are sharing their immense gratitude for this precious nutrient-dense grocery boost,” the news release stated.
Between VLAFB’s monthly food bank and vegan outreach program that Hunter sponsors at the West Presbyterian Church, which serves an average of 600 people in three hours, her efforts are helping to bridge the gap between organic produce and those who lack access to it.
“We believe that there should be free food resource centers in every zip code like there are fast food restaurants and liquor stores,” the release stated. “The Vegans of LA Food Bank is a solution to those who are experiencing the challenges of meeting their basic dietary needs, by providing them with the resources they need to thrive. We are committed to building a healthy, compassionate community, working towards a more sustainable future for the planet, the animals, and the entire human race.”