Vegan Mexican food company Asanté donated 2,000 meals to combat food insecurity and homelessness across Los Angeles. The plant-based brand partnered with Meet Each Need With Dignity (MEND) – a charity organization offering poverty relief and working combat food insecurity – to bring nutritional food to people experiencing homelessness in Southern California. Asante will provide 500 packages with four meals per package to the MEND foodbanks in the region.

“As a Mexican plant-based company just entering the US market, we were astonished at how the Latino community in Greater Los Angeles is suffering from a lack of access to healthy nutritious foods and we knew we had to do something for these families,” Asanté Co-Founder and CEO Iván Jiménez told VegOut.

Currently, MEND supplies nearly 2.5 million pounds of food every year to families and individuals facing food insecurity. Asante aims to join this effort by donating four of its most popular products to the organization’s food banks. The company believes this action will allow communities in need, especially the Latino community in Los Angeles, to gain better access to plant-based foods.

“Asanté is a start-up just entering the US market. But, we are calling on all plant-based brands to follow our lead and give back to their community during Hunger Action Month,” CMO of Asante Lori Amos added. “This is not just about feeding those in need but also about providing them with nutritious meals that combat issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which are especially prevalent in the Hispanic community.”

The plant-based boxes offer Asante’s signature Mexican dishes including Cochinita Pibil, Pastor, Ceviche, and Barbacoa. The meals come packaged in shelf-stable containers, offering 48 grams of protein and zero cholesterol. The brand plans to highlight the nutritional value of its meals, and provide people easy access to nutrient-rich products who have little access to healthy food.

The partnership is participating in Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month–a campaign dedicated to providing food to people experiencing poverty, food insecurity, and homelessness across the United States. The initiative aims to boost awareness of these issues, enlisting several companies, organizations, and figures to assist in its mission. Feeding America’s website reads: ‘Food shouldn’t be an impossible choice”, claiming that fixing food insecurity is the entire population’s responsibility.

More frequently, plant-based eating has been proposed as a solution against food insecurity. Citing sustainability and health, organizations worldwide have argued that plant-based foods can provide enough food and nutrients to communities facings financial hardship. Support + Feed–the organization founded by superstar Billie Eilish and her mom Maggie Baird to help people impacted by COVID-19–put plant-based eating at the center of its platform. In April, the organization served vegan meals to the non-profit working to help LGBTQ+ experiencing homelessness and food insecurity, My Friend’s Place.

“What we imagined as a few months worth of effort became a year of full-time volunteering for so many and now, as we have seen the pact that receiving this nourishing, delicious food has had for people and also knowing that every plant-based meal we serve has a positive impact on climate change, we are more committed than ever!”

Baird’s organization highlights that alongside helping food insecurity, plant-based foods improve sustainability and minimizes waste. Similarly, Asante intends to highlight the community and global benefits of the company’s plant-based food selection.

A report from USC Schaeffer recently found that 40 percent of Latinos in Los Angeles suffer from food insecurity, motivating Asante to become involved and take action to restore this. The report details that food insecurity can be the center of several other problems, primarily regarding health. Poor nutrition leads to general health issues including obesity and diabetes, extending to widespread anxiety and depression. Asante’s partnership with MEND is the company’s first step to helping the communities facing these hardships in Southern California.

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