Spiritual Activist and Total Liberation Advocate, Gwenna Hunter, is an inspirational force to be reckoned with. When a supernatural experience of embodying a cow in her entirety jolted Gwenna with a personal reckoning that our fellow animal brothers and sisters can feel love, she deeply connected with the philosophy that all life is one. Motivated by this momentous spiritual awakening, she set out to pursue her passion for creating a kinder, compassionate, just world for all. She became immersed with nonprofit organizations, participated in grassroots animal rights activism and advocacy, and became voraciously involved in human rights spaces. These experiences fueled Gwenna’s founding of Vegans of LA, an organization geared towards celebrating diversity in the vegan movement and addressing food insecurities in LA by enhancing access to nourishing plant-based foods.
In 2020, she founded Vegans for Black Lives Matter during the height of the nationwide protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd, to facilitate respectful dialogue on how different social justice movements share more similarities than differences and to emphasize the value of allyship among one another. Through her work, Gwenna seeks to educate, empower, and elevate the status of ALL living beings who are marginalized by elitist power structures. Gwenna’s journey is inspired by her effervescent spirit that guided her to an unwavering commitment to service.
NOURISHING COMMUNITIES WITH THE POWER OF PLANTS
As Gwenna continued to learn about the interconnectedness of different social justice movements, she was confronted with the revelation that she herself grew up in a food desert, lacking access to grocery stores and healthy, nutrient-rich foods. “There were a couple of convenience stores and a Popeye’s where I grew up…only a few years ago did I realize that I only had access to what I thought was ‘food’ and not to fresh produce, whole grains, and foods that heal us,” she recalls.
Gwenna staunchly believes that access to healthy, wholesome, delicious, plant-based foods should be a fundamental right and not a privilege reserved for a select few. Driven by this core, Vegans of LA launched the Vegans of LA Food Bank in partnership with Hope On Union Food Bank. While a predominant focus is on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole-plant foods, several leading plant-based businesses have also stepped forward to support the Food Bank. Hodo Foods, Good Catch, Hilary’s, and Unreal Deli–to name a few–are motivated by the Vegans of LA Food Bank and are contributing their revolutionary products so those living in areas with a dearth of access to plant-based foods can enjoy and be fueled by the power of plants!
The Vegans of LA Food Bank is open on the third Thursday of every month from 8:00-11:00 am. Since its recent launch in May 2022, the Food Bank has received overwhelming support from the community and fed thousands of people with healthy, plant-based foods. As a testament to the inspired influence from their partnership with Vegans of LA, the Hope on Union Food Bank has also started incorporating more vegan food in their own community work! Patrons of the Food Bank also receive educational literature about veganism that is simple, informative, and welcoming.
Starting in the Fall of 2022, Vegans of LA will be expanding their work to reach colleges and universities in Southern California to bring awareness to food insecurities experienced by thousands of students, and afford them access to healthy vegan foods.
“Food worthiness is a human right. In providing plant-based foods to communities in need we empower them with new food choices and in turn, we create a more sustainable world.”– Gwenna Hunter
SUPPORT THE VEGANS OF LA FOOD BANK
Are you a food distributor, plant-based food company, vegan wholesaler, or retailer? The Vegans of LA Food Bank would deeply appreciate any support for this critical initiative to empower marginalized communities with delicious, plant-based eats. Interested parties may contact Gwenna Hunter for contributions, donations, and volunteer opportunities.
ABOUT THE VEGANS OF LA FOOD BANK
The Vegans of LA Food Bank provides fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and plant-based products to families experiencing economic challenges. Their mission is to bring healthy food to people who wouldn’t have easy access to them and to help meet the needs of those who choose not to consume animal-based meat, dairy, and eggs. The Vegans of LA Food Bank rescues good quality food with minor imperfections, such as packaging, from being discarded. Instead, they deliver these items to those in need, thereby reducing spoilage and food waste in overburdened landfills.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shriya is an Animal Rights Activist, Research Associate at PETA, Writer at VEGWORLD, and Founder of Nourish by Shriya– her Vegan Hospitality Consulting Service that helps businesses attract the growing, conscious, plant-based community. She is also a mentor with Animal Activism Mentorship, enjoys volunteering at Animal Sanctuaries, and spreads the #adoptdontshop message with her best friend and pooch, Halley.
Featured Image Source: Unbound Project
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