America's Largest Vegetarian Hunger Relief Program.
Community Solidarity, Inc. is America’s largest all-vegetarian hunger relief food program. Each week we assist thousands of families by providing nutritious vegetarian groceries and hot gourmet vegan meals. These plant based foods aren't just healthier than anything offered by mainstream food banks, they're also more compassionate.
At our core, Community Solidarity is an organization that believes all suffering is wrong; human and animal. Alleviating hunger and alleviating animal suffering are not mutually exclusive. Philosophically, we actually believe it’s the opposite. You can't end the suffering of humans if you continue to justify the suffering of other living beings.
The blind indifference that makes it so easy for so many people to overlook the hungry is the same blind indifference that makes it so easy for so many to overlook the suffering of animals in factory farms. Or overlook the environmental destruction created by those farms, or overlook the economic system that values those animals lives so poorly, or overlook how that same economic system devalues those poor and hungry families we stand up for each and every day.
Essentially we see human, animal and environmental oppressions as all being the same. In so, we fundamentally believe that the only way to solve one of these problems is to address them all at once.
But putting philosophy aside for a moment, we dare claim, that for our scale, the foods we share are of some of the healthiest, if not the healthiest, offered by any hunger relief organization across the country. Without doubt, healthier than anything offered by this nation's food bank system.
There’s many reasons for this. The first is that 48-70% of the foods we share each week are fresh produce. This range comes from seasonal adjustments between the winter when we don’t get food from local farms and the summer when we do. Yet, even in the winter, nearly half of what we distribute is fresh produce. In comparison to the average food bank, at which fresh produce often makes up less than 10% of what's distributed, the nutrition offered by Community Solidarity is in a league all of its own. This isn't even considering that most foods offered by food banks are heavily process, and often loaded with cholesterol and sugars.
Yet, regardless of the health benefits provided by the fresh produce and vegetarian foods we share, our efforts are continuously challenged by the meat eating establishment along with the majority of the nonprofit sector which they support. This doubt is pretty common and often upheld by outsiders to our community whom often make comments like, "people need meat for protein".
Well, where do you get your protein from anyway?
Simply put, beans, nuts, seeds and even vegetables have tons of protein. Not to mention that Community Solidarity shares tons of vegan meat substitutes like tofu, seitan and tempeh. In 2014, we shared over 3 million pounds of vegetarian groceries which contained over 56,520,028.05 grams of protein, that's over 1,130,400.56 daily values! Put another way, in 2014 Community Solidarity shared more protein than 4,347,694.46 McDonald's hamburgers, or 471,000.23 chickens! Needless to say, all through vegetarian sources. But that's not all, we shared more iron than 4,421,739.79 one pound steaks, more thiamin than 3,841,348.84 pork chops and more folate than 20,943,277.85 20 pound turkeys!
Saving hundreds of thousands of animals lives, reducing environmental destruction caused by factory farming and decreasing health ailments caused by animal foods is what Community Solidarity is all about. Plus, we mentioned the free gourmet vegan meals, right? Well, the best way to try a bite is to get involved, help us build up the community by helping those in need and by promoting healthy compassionate vegetarian foods.