Eat Drink Give, a new celebrity-backed vegan initiative, has just landed in the Twin Cities. Maggie Baird – mother of vegan musicians Billie Eilish and FINNEAS – brought the event to the Twin Cities to help shape the food scene while fighting hunger in the region.
In March 2020, Baird founded Support + Feed, an initiative she launched with the aim of feeding frontline workers and vulnerable populations while supporting local vegan restaurants.
Support + Feed launched Eat Drink Give in the Twin Cities as a 10-day restaurant activation running October 20-30, aimed at encouraging diners to eat plant-based foods and give back to their community.
Minneapolis-based Stephanie Dillon, a climate activist and artist, worked with organizers to make Eat Drink Give a reality after witnessing high rates of hunger and the need for more nutritious food in her community.
New vegan options are coming to the Twin Cities
As part of the initiative, nine local Minnesota restaurants are revamping their menus, adding vegan options where they weren’t previously offered. These include Milton’s American, Maui Acai Bowls, Mother Dough Bakery, Rise Bagel Co., Herbivorous Butcher, The Harriet Brasserie, Lake & Irving, Fhima’s Minneapolis and Hen House Eatery.
“The Twin Cities have evolved into food and climate initiatives, including a plant-based proclamation from the City of Minneapolis, the educational work of Climate Generation, and leadership programs at the U of M’s Institute on the Environment,” founded Michelle Courtright of the Minneapolis-based, eco- vegan restaurant Fig and Farro, tells VegNews.
“Much more needs to be done, but people are slowly changing their eating habits to reflect the reality that our food system has a huge impact on climate change,” says Courtright.
Vegan dishes from Fhimas Minneapolis were served by Support + Feed at the Twin Cities Film Festival on October 20, the initiative’s launch day, allowing festival-goers to try the new dishes for the first time.
Additionally, in the Twin Cities, Support + Feed has partnered with Minnesota Central Kitchen to add plant-based foods to its grocery distribution program.
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Support + Feed helps communities in need
Since the Introducing Support + Feed, Baird has expanded the initiative to other cities such as New York City, NY, Philadelphia, PA and Washington, DC. During November’s election season, Baird partnered with a number of vegan businesses, including Monty’s Good Burger, to help feed voters and poll workers in cities across the countryincluding in Los Angeles, CA and Phoenix, AZ.
“Giving to those in need is part of Monty’s founding,” the vegan chain’s co-founder Nic Adler previously told VegNews. “Partnering with Support + Feed has enabled us to deliver plant-based meals to individuals and families in the most underserved communities.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of the work Maggie and her army of volunteers have done over the past year. true heroes in the greatest need,” said Adler.
In addition to feeding vulnerable populations and supporting vegan restaurants, Support + Feed aims to educate the public about the harmful environmental impact of animal husbandry, which accounts for about 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
“What we imagined as a few months of toil has turned into a year of full-time volunteering for so many,” Baird said in a statement. “And now that we’ve seen the impact that eating this nutritious, delicious food has had on people, and also know that every plant-based meal we serve has a positive impact on climate change, we’re more committed than ever ever.”
Celebrity-backed vegan options are expanding in Minnesota
In addition to the Eat Drink Give event, vegan options are expanding in the Twin Cities with the recent launch of the first vegan food concession and dairy-free ice cream truck at Target Center, home of NBA team Minnesota Timberwolves.
Developed in collaboration with vegan food company Wicked Kitchen, the new concession menu features three different sandwich options: Grilled Chorizo Roast, Jalapeño Gouda Burger and a Meatball Sub. The company’s vegan ice cream innovations – made with lupine beans – are also available at the Target Center.
Ahead of the opening of its vegan concession stand, Wicked Kitchen closed a $20 million round of funding — with the help of a longtime friend and vegan actor Woody Harrelson— to support his mission to make vegan food the norm.
In addition to Target Center offerings, Target Field in Minneapolis — home of MLB team Minnesota Twins — has vegan concession options since 2019 Thanks to local vegan company The Herbivorous Butcher, the first vegan butcher shop in the US. The vegan butcher and deli is a favorite among celebrities like Paul McCartney, Guy FieriJon Stewart and Alan Cumming.