From now until June 6, Francesca Chaney—owner of vegan restaurant Sol Sips in Brooklyn, NY—will be operating Black Supper, a free vegan meal program launched to feed the Black community. Chaney is cooking all of the meals on her electric stovetop and packing a drink, vegan entrée (such as Stew Chik’n, Quinoa & Beans, and coleslaw), and a dessert into easy-to-grab packages.
In 2018, Chaney—then only 21-years-old—partnered with her mother, a vegan nutritionist, to turn Sol Sips (a popular pop-up café) into a brick-and-mortar location in Bushwick, Brooklyn with the mission of providing affordable, locally sourced, and healthy plant-based meals to lower-income communities. Chaney expanded the Sol Sips menu beyond homebrewed “potions”—unique herbal tea mixtures and beverages offered at the pop-up—to include sandwiches, smoothies, and bowls.
In a recent interview with Time Out, Chaney explained that the inspiration behind the Black Supper program came from the Civil Rights movement, particularly the Free Breakfast for School Children Program launched by the Black Panthers to help school children thrive. “Then there’s Georgia Gilmore, who secretly fed and funded the civil rights movement. She had to be secretive because once you’re nourishing the Black community, people see it as something threatening,” Chaney said. “We can take it back to times when we weren’t even allowed at the table to have food and had to take scraps. But now we’re in 2020 and there’s no reason to be eating scraps; I want to serve a delicious and nourishing meal. For me, that’ll always be plant-based because I am grateful for the healing powers of plants.”
“Last and most important thing—if you don’t live inside of a Black body please don’t pull up for free food,” Chaney posted on Instagram along with details for ways to donate to support the program through Cash App ($solsipsnyc), Venmo (@solsipshospitality), and PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Black Supper was for the benefit of Black protestors specifically. We apologize for the error.
Photo credit: Sol Sips