Billie Eilish’s Mother Maggie Baird and Help + Feed Honored for Bringing Plant-Based Meals to Unhoused Youth

Nearly 3,000 young people—minors and youthful grown ups ages 18 to 24—experience homelessness on any supplied evening in the course of Los Angeles County, according to the 2022 Higher Los Angeles Youth Depend.

For the previous 35 years, My Friend’s Put, a community nonprofit, has worked to empower and uplift unhoused youth throughout Los Angeles. Just very last 12 months, My Friend’s Area served 700 young individuals, supplying them with basic necessities these types of as meals, showers, and housing support as nicely as employment providers, instruction classes, inventive workshops, and more. 

And, many thanks in substantial component to the nonprofit’s partnership with Support + Feed, My Friend’s Put is now creating plant-primarily based meals quickly offered to unhoused youth. 

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Developed by Billie Eilish’s mother, Maggie Baird, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Guidance + Feed’s mission is nourishing frontline employees and susceptible populations whilst supporting community vegan dining places.

On May 13, as component of its 35th Anniversary Gala, My Friend’s Put will honor Aid + Feed with a gourmand, plant-primarily based dinner to spotlight both organizations’ commitment to empowering unhoused communities and making nutritious, vegan meals obtainable for all. 

The gala will characteristic a plant-based mostly, relatives style evening meal with wine pairings furnished by Vegan Wines. Catered by Very good Gracious! Activities, the food items menu will element spicy vodka penne pasta seared polenta topped with sweet potato and a medley of tomatoes, kale, onions, and sweet peas smoky, three-bean stew and grilled cauliflower served with tofu tapenade. Strawberry rhubarb galettes, flourless chocolate cake, and lemon cupcakes round out the dessert menu.

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All over the several years, My Friend’s Position has elevated hundreds of thousands of pounds by way of its once-a-year gala to enable the nonprofit give crucial products and services aimed at supporting younger folks on their journeys toward in general wellness and discovering a permanent exit from homelessness. 

Bringing vegan meals to unhoused youth

Guidance + Feed’s partnership with My Friend’s Position first took root in 2020, for the duration of a time of heightened concern and stress brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We have a quite vibrant community of assistance below [at My Friend’s Place],” Govt Director Heather Carmichael tells VegNews. “Of course, throughout this heightened time, it turned fewer lively, [especially in terms of] group users coming and treating our younger persons to exclusive occasions of food stuff and celebration.”

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Fortunately, Guidance + Feed was there to step in. “Support + Feed pulled up with the remarkable Monty’s Excellent Burger food stuff truck. [Monty’s] began producing new vegan burgers for our youthful folks, contemporary off the grill,” Carmichael suggests. “We had definitely yummy foods and wonderful organization. Out of the darkness of [COVID-19], all of a sudden there was this air of care, of celebration, and nourishing foodstuff.”

Considering the fact that then, Aid + Feed has ongoing to supply the young people of My Friend’s Spot with vegan alternatives, most not too long ago from Sage Plant-Based mostly Bistro and Brewery, a vegan cafe chain with spots throughout Southern California. 

Carmichael recollects two young men at My Friend’s Spot ended up specifically fired up to try out Sage. “Being vegan is a central section of their id, and they ended up excited to see that Sage was here,” she says. “At this point in a lot of youthful people’s life, they can not just wander into any restaurant, specifically a person with this sort of quality, plant-dependent food.”

Locating identity via vegan food

Although My Friend’s Location, on average, receives vegan food requests from two to 4 young men and women out of fifty on a everyday basis, the nonprofit emphasizes how supplying youth the electricity of preference aids in id formation. 

“There are folks [here at My Friend’s Place] who are not vegan, and it’s so amazing to be capable to engage them in meals adventure, introduce them to the principle of plant-primarily based food stuff, and have a discussion about [the cuisine],” Carmichael says. 

“Adulthood is about identification enhancement and owning encounters to be capable to master what you like and what you do not,” she states. “Often, poverty can take that absent from a young individual when they’re in crisis.”

With the help of Help + Feed, My Friend’s Spot is much better suited to cater to younger people’s dietary desires. Prior to their relationship with Aid + Feed, the nonprofit’s staff members normally had to scramble when they received requests for meatless foods. And a lot more normally than not, this resulted in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

“More and far more, young people are coming in with incredibly distinct tastes and dietary constraints,” Carmichael explains. “Young folks are now coming in stating, ‘I’m vegan. Do you have something that will work for me?’ And now, we have this incredible partnership with Assistance + Feed.” 

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“[They’re helping] our younger men and women experience regarded and seen,” she says. “Young individuals enduring homelessness typically are produced to feel invisible, so to have meals that is created to nourish them is profound in that partnership cultivation with our youthful people.”

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