Food Love helps black, brown, and low-income families in need access fresh vegan food

"When I transitioned from eating predominantly meat to eating predominantly plants, I decided to use my transition journey to encourage others to switch to a plant-based diet. I started 'Might Be Vegan' - a safe space for people to have a dialogue about a vegan diet. It evolved and became a space where I brought my marketing experience in a unique way with food media.

Image: Kimberly Barnes
Image: Kimberly Barnes

I am Kimberly Barnes from the US, and I started the project 'Food Love' to support Black, Brown, and low-income communities who are experiencing food insecurity, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. When the pandemic hit the US, I started thinking of meaningful ways to launch a new project virtually. During my research, I found out how people of color have been affected the most at this time. There are several reasons supporting this fact. But the one that stood out to me was, as people of color, our food choices had a lot to do with what we did not have access to. Having a history of eating what’s leftover and creating a flavor profile for the family to get accustomed to has been our journey. Moreover, the reason behind multiple illnesses in the world is primarily because of the food choices that we make.

In the month of April, I started the project 'Food Love'. There are 17 dedicated volunteers working for this cause. The idea behind Food Love runs on one simple factor - coordination. We coordinate the need for food from social workers and our brand partners. Frequent communication with social workers is key to get the details of our beneficiaries. Our automation system helps to match the clients with our brand partners who deliver fresh plant-based food or groceries. Moreover, we also provide e-book explaining numerous benefits of a vegan diet and a cookbook which features ingredients that are affordable and easily accessible.

We have had the privilege to fill the cupboards and refrigerators of many people with groceries. One of the families that we delivered to, sent us a letter back. They expressed how happy they were to receive fresh groceries. For over three months they had been eating canned food. That really broke my heart.

During the pandemic, fresh grocery has been a blessing for so many families.

I recognize that fast food and unhealthy items are easy to access. On the other side, healthy food is expensive and is not easily accessible. I am working really hard to bridge this gap.

Food banks that accept canned food isn't a solution. Canned foods have a higher concentration of salt and sugar.

We cannot be proud of ourselves after donating unhealthy food to the needy. My vision is to find a solution to close this huge gap and make healthy food accessible to everyone."

You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to Kimberly for going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.

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