New York-based Catskill Animal Sanctuary recently launched the New Leaf Vegan Mentor Program, a free online service that pairs new vegans with an experienced mentor. After a successful pilot program with more than 50 mentor/mentee matches, New Leaf debuted the personalized program in a website and phone app format to expand accessibility. Once enrolled, each mentee is matched with a trained volunteer who can help with shopping, meal preparation, dining out suggestions, nutrition, and finding community. The support is indefinite—as long as mentees need assistance, New Leaf will keep them connected with a mentor. “People want to become vegan but don’t know where to start, what to eat, how to shop, or how to meet other vegans,” New Leaf Program Manager Elana Kirshenbaum said. “New Leaf’s unique approach provides ample support so folks can be successful long-term. The program is a game-changer for a more just and compassionate world.” New Leaf plans to soon expand the program by offering access to nutritionists, webinars, downloadable printouts, and videos. Similarly, nonprofit organization Chilis on Wheels recently launched the Low-Income Vegan Education Mentorship Program, a free, 21-day online program that aims to help make veganism accessible by integrating participants’ cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
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