Kyrie Irving and Chef Supreme Dow Staff As much as Present 10,000 Vegan Meals to LA's Unhoused

Beneath its veil of glitz and glamor, town of Los Angeles continues scuffling with its homelessness disaster. Town is residence to an estimated 46,260 unhoused residents, a 10-percent improve from 2022 in response to the Los Angeles Homeless Providers Authority (LAHSA). 

Simply east of Downtown Los Angeles, Skid Row—an space of 54 sq. blocks—is commonly considered the middle of town’s unhoused group. At present, an estimated 2,000 unhoused Angelenos live on Skid Row. 

And whereas metropolis officers have lengthy struggled to offer ample assets and funding to assist these residing on the streets of Los Angeles, a lot of organizations have taken issues into their very own arms to offer meals reduction to town’s most susceptible. 

Amongst such people hitting the streets to deal with the wants of unhoused communities is celeb chef and lifelong vegan Supreme Dow. 

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Final month, Dow kicked off his annual Skid Row BBQ—an initiative that gives vegan meals to unhoused Angelenos all through the summer season—in collaboration with NBA star Kyrie Irving; Hart Home (a vegan fast-food chain owned by Hollywood A-lister and Philadelphia native Kevin Hart);  All Love No Beef (a corporation addressing meals deserts, incarceration, and violence); and The SheRise Enterprise (a public relations company).

Dow’s Skid Row BBQ is part of his larger 10K Meals Throughout LA initiative, which he spearheads underneath his non-profit, The Harvest Academy. 

For this 12 months’s first Skid Row BBQ, Chef Dow—a Philadelphia native—hoped to infuse a contact of his hometown’s concord. So, he seemed towards Hart Home for plant-based cheeseburgers. 

With the assistance of donations and funds he’s earned from paid catering gigs, Dow bought 200 vegan cheeseburgers from Hart Home, and the chain donated an extra 50 items for July’s Skid Row BBQ. Alongside the fast-food staple, Dow served recent fruit and Philadelphia water ice.

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“We wished to convey the Metropolis of Brotherly Like to Los Angeles. That was [one of] my objectives,” Dow tells VegNews.  “The turnout was wonderful. We had about 12 to 17, perhaps 20 volunteers. The group was in love—it was a scorching day that day, so we had recent fruit minimize on web site and recent water ice.” 

“[Unhoused community members] have been in a position to share their tales and share their voices in a spot of affection,” Dow says. “It was each bit wonderful.”

It takes a village 

Whereas Dow formally launched his 10K Meals Throughout LA initiative a 12 months and a half in the past, he has been serving unhoused Angelenos for twice as lengthy.

4 years in the past, Dow moved to Los Angeles from Philadelphia to pursue his longtime dream of working as a vegan celeb chef. “I advised my father 15 years in the past that I used to be going to come back to [Los Angeles] to be a star chef and feed millionaires larger high quality meals,” Dow says. 

Dow’s clientele rapidly turned a roster of Hollywood’s high stars together with rapper André 3000 and singer-songwriter India Arie. When he wasn’t cooking for celeb purchasers, Dow was busy main the vegan and uncooked division at Erewhon (a cult-favorite grocery chain in Los Angeles) and promoting vegan meals at Leimert Park.   

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However in March 2020, Dow’s focus rapidly shifted. “When the pandemic hit, I clearly understood the way it impacted sure communities, the way it impacted my communities: underserved communities, communities the place households rely upon colleges for meals, and issues of that nature,” Dow shares.

“So I sat again and thought, ‘How may I have an effect?’ I simply began giving my providers away to teams like Vegans of LA, Vegan Outreach, and Gen V, which was previously [known as] Million Greenback Vegan,” Dow says. “I labored with loads of completely different organizations throughout the metropolis to get meals to underserved communities.”

However finally, it was a donation from Gwenna Hunter—founding father of Vegans of LA and the Vegans of LA Meals Financial institution—that helped Dow propel his work even additional.

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After Hunter acquired a donation of Tofurky’s sliced meats and deli ham, she gave the product to Dow. Dow’s response? “I’m going to feed 500 folks in 5 days with this,” he recounts. “I began a marketing campaign on social media, and it was such a constructive response. We ended up feeding 900 folks in seven days.”

“I stated, ‘You already know what? We’re going to feed 1,000 folks per week,”  Dow says. “This launched my initiative, 10K Meals Throughout LA, the place we feed 10,000 folks in 10 weeks gourmand, vegan meals.”

Quickly after, he met Jeremy Allen, founder and CEO of All Love No Beef, and SheRise Ford of The SheRise Enterprise.

“No individual is an island,” Dow Says. “I did this alone for a couple of 12 months and a half, and inside two months of getting a workforce, we have been seeing heights that I’ve by no means even considered.”

And with a current $25,000 donation from Kyrie Irving—who Dow cooked for after Irv Roland, the NBA star’s coach, invited the vegan chef to cook dinner for a basketball camp—Chef Dow is poised to feed much more folks. 

“My first large donation was from Kyrie Irving, which got here after three years of labor,” Dow explains. “I made no cash for myself for 3 years. I might do a gig in Bel-Air and use all the cash I earned to go feed folks on Skid Row that very same evening.”

After feeding greater than 10,000 unhoused Angelenos final 12 months, Dow is dedicated to feeding much more group members this 12 months. 

The subsequent Skid Row BBQ is scheduled for August 20, from 12pm to 2pm, the place unhoused Angelenos will likely be handled to Plant Energy Quick Meals, a San Diego-based vegan chain. And in October, they’ll be handled to Mr. Charlie’s—a cult-favorite vegan restaurant dubbed “vegan McDonald’s.”

“The meals that you simply and I like, why wouldn’t [unhoused Angelenos] love them, too?” Dow asks. “I’m going to make sure that they get meals like this each time, no questions requested, even when I’ve to pay for it myself like I’ve needed to for the previous three and a half years.”

Chef Supreme Dow’s dedication to giving again

Past his personal initiatives, Dow has additionally labored with The Midnight Mission, an area homeless shelter and homeless providers supplier. 

This Spring, Dow was employed as The Midnight Mission’s Managing Chef. On this position, Dow helped revamp the shelter’s menu and carried out Meatless Mondays. Whereas the quick contract lasted solely till July, Dow was in a position to educate kitchen employees find out how to make vegan breakfast burritos, fried mushrooms, cauliflower wings, and extra. 

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“They noticed me outdoors of their facility for 2 years straight and requested me to do the identical factor inside,” Dow explains.

The chef’s deep want to present again was instilled by his household. “I used to be raised by revolutionaries,” Dow says. “After I say that, I imply like literal revolutionaries—former Congressman Chaka Fatah and the late David P. Richardson [among others]. I had so many highly effective folks round me who at all times gave again. 

“I used to be part of constructing a group to ship folks to the Million Man March as a baby. We’ve been doing this [work],” Dow says. 

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Dow’s veganism, too, was instilled by his mother and father. And his grandmother, who wasn’t vegan herself however was supportive of the life-style, defined to a younger Dow: “Crops are right here for us. Animals are right here with us.” This sentiment has stayed with him ever since, and thru his work, Dow embodies his grandmother’s phrases. 

To additional help his work, Dow is planning a profit on the HaHa Comedy Membership in North Hollywood set for September 23. Those that need to help his work with unhoused Angelenos can even donate by way of The Harvest Academy web site. 

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