RZA has teamed up with a plant-based food business to give awards to Black-owned restaurants that feed vegetarian cuisines to their local communities. The ultimate goal is to improve the way people understand food.
RZA and Plants Grants
The plant-based manufacturer is called Violife and in unison, with RZA they will both execute a new grant program that will focus on promoting plant-based eating within education, mentorship called Plant Grants, and charitable funding.
RZA states, “I’m partnering with Violife because we share a similar philosophy about eating plant-based, and we want to make plant-based eating more accessible, affordable, and sustainable to all.”
“The influence of hip-hop and the culinary history of plant-based eating in Black communities contribute to a movement of embracing meatless options. I’m proud to support Plant Grants to continue this movement and make plant-based eating more readily available at Black-owned restaurants that are at the heart of communities.”
Black Business (ups and downs)
According to a press release, this year the Plant Grant program will be giving checks to restaurants run by African Americans that are connected in the community and striving to get their businesses back up from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to CNBC, between February 2020 and October 2020, almost Forty-one percent of Black-owned businesses have closed. This is more than double the amount of white businesses that closed during that time.
“Black-owned restaurants in the New York City area have seen their revenue fall as much as 70% to 80% since the start of the pandemic.”
This program, which is also being supported by RZA (responsible for Hip-Hop anthems like “C.R.E.A.M.” and “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”) will support Black restaurants by donating 20k to each recipient.
There’s only one catch: those selected for this program require to include plant-based ingredients in their recipes, combine more plant-based dishes to their menus, or even change their dishes to plant-based versions of themselves.
The Plant Grant and RZA will promote teaching on menu development from two plant-based chef guides, Lemel Durrah and Laricia Chandler. The Plant Grants will be given to five candidates who are selected solely based on meeting program criteria, which includes their dedication to plant-based eating and helping their community.
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