New direct-to-door delivery program Food Love by Might Be Vegan recently launched to provide plant-based food to those in need. The program specifically focuses on families in the Black, Brown, and low-income communities who are experiencing food insecurity, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, and accounts for those not currently being served by food banks because of a lack of transportation or identification.
Created by activist Kimberly Barnes, Food Love partners with community organizers and those working in public health around the country to identify needs among the individuals they serve. Program volunteers then match the brands with individuals within their region so they are able to access fresh, healthy plant-based food that is delivered to their doorstep. The program also provides supplementary educational materials to families, which are designed to help them incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets.
“In keeping up with COVID-19 updates, I learned that people within the Black and Latinx communities were experiencing much higher mortality rates than the rest of the population—and that higher death rate was due in part to existing illnesses,” Barnes told VegNews. “It weighed on me, as those are illnesses that make a person even more vulnerable in light of this immediate, direct threat. I also read that farmers were disposing of or mulching produce due to supply chain interruptions. It seemed unfathomable that at a time with such an urgent need for fresh food, so much was going to waste.”
Barnes drew on her previous experiences working at food banks, where she learned that most people were given sodium-laden, non-perishable foods that exacerbate existing conditions such as hypertension. “So the question became: How do we get healthy, fresh food to those in need and in the communities that are currently being underserved? I wanted to be a part of the solution,” Barnes said. “But I needed to figure out how to do that while also staying safe myself. That’s how Food Love was born.”