On Thursday (September 16), legendary hip-hop producer and Wu-Tang clan founder RZA teamed up with vegan cheese company Violife to award $100,000 to five different Black-owned vegan restaurants that promote plant-based foods in their local community.
The donation comes through the program Plant Grants, a program dedicated to making vegan food more “delicious, affordable and available in local communities.”
“I’m excited to work with the Plant Grants restaurants because they are on the front line of the plant-based revolution in their communities, through their recipes and the individual touch they put on their dishes to give their customers a great meal,” RZA said in a statement. “We are what we eat. For me, that means I still get to eat cheese – vegan cheese from Violife – and with their help, I get to convince people to switch to foods made from plants because they taste good, they’re affordable, and there is a whole lot of variety to choose from.”
Seasoned Vegan (Harlem, New York), Meek’s Vegan Pizza (Houston, Texas), Supreme Oasis Bakery and Deli (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Vegans on the Run LLC (Shreveport, Louisiana) and Plant Power Café & Juice Bar (Chattanooga, Tennessee) will each receive $20,000 as well as education and mentorship in new vegan dishes and community outreach.
“With the 2021 Plant Grants program, we’re tackling plant-based food inequity head on by empowering Black-owned restaurants to offer more plant-based dishes to their communities – dishes that will delight customers and keep them coming back for more,” says Lisa Akey, the head of marketing at Violife.
RZA is a longtime advocate for veganism and holistic living, giving up meat since the’90s; the Wu-Tang founder has been outspoken about his lifestyle.