Studies have shown that eating a plant-based, vegan diet is increasingly good for your health and few know how important it is to cut back on meat than vegan food companies. But amidst the recent novel coronavirus outbreak, also known as COVID-19, frontline workers are struggling to work and live in the face of the crisis.
And it isn’t just frontline workers who are making sacrifices. More than 6.6 million people filed for unemployment at the start of the crisis, according to The Washington Post. As a result, food banks and other relief efforts are struggling to supply the necessary products for people in need.
Luckily, a few vegan food suppliers are looking to make a difference. Just like the National Disaster Medical System and the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) deployed hundreds of volunteers to natural disasters across the country in 2018, some vegan companies are looking to give back amidst the current crisis. Here are a couple of ways that vegan food suppliers are helping their communities.
Beyond Meat donates to relief efforts
Popular vegan meat company, Beyond Meat (creator of the popular Beyond Burger), has been a leading force among the vegan community when it comes to COVID-19 relief efforts. This last week, the company has officially launched its Feed A Million+ campaign.
This charitable campaign, headed by Beyond Meat’s celebrity ambassador Irving, hopes to supply more than one million Beyond Burgers to those who need it most. The company has already donated more than 200,000 burgers to Food Bank For New York City with more plans to keep donating to food banks, community centers, and those working on the front lines, including urgent care centers and hospitals throughout the country. This is great news for the hundreds of thousands of people struggling to eat amidst the COVID-19 crisis, including the elderly population which is expected to double by 2040.
Newly vegan comedian Kevin Hart has also joined the company’s efforts. Upon partnering with Beyond Meat, the collaboration has sworn to donate burgers to the Northridge Hospital Medical Center, located in southern California.
Beyond Meat has also asked its many fans to submit the names of local causes and organizations that might benefit from its donations.
Impossible Burgers allows direct sales to consumers
With strict rules established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), vegan food companies were only able to sell their products to restaurants and other corporations. But now, with more flexibility from the FDA, popular vegan burger supplier Impossible Burgers has allowed its partnering restaurants to now sell its patties directly to the consumer.
“We know the last few weeks of the COVID-19 health crisis have been unimaginably difficult for our partners, with many shifting to takeout and delivery.” explains Impossible Foods. “Due to the FDA’s flexibility, all operators are eligible to sell the Impossible™ Burger 5 lb bricks, 1/4 lb patties, or 1/3 lb patties to customers.”
The company was able to do this, in part, because they are supplying a complete list of ingredients with every sale. This includes any allergens that the “meat” may contain. While the price of the burgers will vary depending on the discretion of the restaurant, this is just one way that Impossible Burgers is helping customers and restaurants alike.
This is especially important given that 97% of U.S. restaurants have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Those who are able to keep working throughout the crisis, including those with online jobs and essential workers, like car dealerships and manufacturers, have been able to help support local restaurants to an extent. But it’s not fiscally responsible to eat out every day of the week. This mode of support helps cut the problem down the middle, allowing both restaurants and their consumers to prosper.
Vegan food suppliers and restaurants have truly paved the way for charitable giving in the face of COVID-19. While we’re not out of the woods yet, it’s thanks to efforts like these that this pandemic won’t make life any harder for those who are struggling.