Thank you for being here. Because you are here, I know our mission means as much to you as it does to us! Together, we can impact both the climate crisis and food justice, two issues we know are entwined. Together, we can pull our planet and people back from the brink of collapse.
My interest in plant based eating began over 40 years ago thanks to a t-shirt linking the destruction of the Amazon rainforest to cattle. My brain made the connection between diet and the environment. Scientists and experts were predicting future dangers from climate change, in part due to animal agriculture, yet the media and governments were not seriously addressing the danger. Climate anxiety, environmental concerns, and veganism became part of my DNA.
Fast forward to today’s world where devastating climate-related weather events occur on a regular basis. A world where food insecurity has reached staggering proportions and the inequities in our food system contribute to disease and early death for millions.
When the Covid 19 crisis began and my family, like most others, isolated in our home, we saw that food insecurity would worsen, just as small businesses would struggle. A small group of us conceived the plan to purchase nourishing plant based meals from local restaurants and deliver them to charitable organizations to support their communities.
With the help of an army of volunteers we launched Support and Feed in Los Angeles, then in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC. We worked every day to offer nourishing and planet forward meals to as many people as possible. We supported our communities, plant based businesses, and drove resources, through product donations from plant based companies, to our partners to create more meals.
As we learned more about the complexities of food insecurity and the effects of systemic racism on the food system, we shifted our focus to addressing food apartheid. The Summer of 2020 was a wakeup call for many, including me. Our mission, and my own personal drive, grew even more urgent. It was clear that plant based food was missing from most food programs, and that people wanted it. More recipients lined up early to receive our meals than for any other offerings. Folks who had never eaten plant based food requested information about the benefits.
We realized we needed to embrace the t-shirt moment that had made such an impact on me forty years before. We grew an active and informative social media strategy, talking about climate change, food justice, and how plant based foods address both issues. We engaged community leaders and provided experts, including physicians, to answer questions about diet, health, and wellness. We amplified awareness through fun stickers and activities. We made our way into the school system in NYC, connecting to more and more organizations and individuals who were seeking healthier meals for their communities. We even found opportunities to influence other food organizations to add or increase their plant based offerings.
In 2022 we will expand to thirty states and other countries, providing a chance to make an impact larger than the meals we deliver. Not only can we feed people, every plant based meal we deliver positively affects the health of the recipient and our planet. Reducing animal agriculture is not the entire solution, but there is no solution without it.
We believe that together, we can make a profound, life-changing impact.
Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for caring. Thank you for taking action!
Much love and gratitude, Maggie Baird