REDUCETARIAN - Eat Less Meat

Plant-Based Foodbank Marks 50,000 Meals

Plant-Based Foodbank Marks 50,000 Meals

Written by Tyler Puckett

Ashley Mackay found herself in a tough situation. She wanted to live a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle, but her financial situation prevented her from even putting food on the table. Local food banks were ill-equipped to serve her preferences, and she recounts often being given prepackaged meals full of sugar and processed foods due to the lack of fresh produce offered at local food banks. She was even once offered a single pack of cookies for dinner due to the limited fresh food options. Her story is just one of thousands.

Enter Matt Noble, volunteer executive director of the Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank (TVFB). "We don't think that people's dignity should be sacrificed because they're down on their luck," he says. And with that in mind, he launched TVFB in January 2015.

This incredible volunteer-run organization serves local individuals with financial troubles who still prefer a plant-based diet. Several of TVFB’s clients have been previously told by doctors to transition into a plant-based diet due to health concerns, such as diabetes and heart disease. But even with this knowledge, traditional food banks remained ill-equipped to serve these dietary needs. Because of TVFB’s work, individuals like Ashley can enjoy a healthy, environmentally friendly, and cruelty free diet - regardless of their financial situation. In addition to serving plant-based meals, TVFB prioritizes fresh produce for its clients to take home, with a goal of at least 60% fresh produce served as a part of each meal.

But the Toronto community not only needs food - individuals are also seeking information about eating less meat. As part of an education initiative, the TVFB provides users with knowledge about plant-based living and the many health benefits that it can bring. Registered dietitian, Dr. Pamela Fergusson, serves as a part of the TVFB, and provides free nutritional advice and consultation to help clients reach their health and wellness goals.

Last Saturday the TVFB celebrated a huge milestone - 50,000 meals served! This organization is making an amazing impact on the Toronto community by encouraging healthy eating, promoting animal welfare, and conserving natural resources - all while helping those in need!

Check out this video created by CBC News, and visit the TVFB website to learn more about their amazing work or to get involved through their volunteer program.

Photo: tvfb.ca - used with permission