Vegan Campaign Donates $100,000 To Hurricane Survivors

The donation was made by Million Dollar Vegan - the initiative which offered Pope France $1 million if he went vegan for Lent
Genesis Butler
Genesis Butler in Puerto Rico (Photo: Million Dollar Vegan)

A vegan campaign has donated $100,000 to an organization providing plant-based meals and other assistance to Hurricane survivors.

Million Dollar Vegan - the campaign which offered Pope Francis a $1 million dollar donation to ditch animal products for Lent - gave the money to vegan humanitarian aid organization, Chilis on Wheels.

Genesis Butler, the 12-year-old American activist who fronted the Million Dollar Vegan campaign, wrote to Pope Francis as well as visiting the Vatican. The pope responded to Butler's letter - but did not confirm whether or not he would give a plant-based diet a go.

Vegan aid organization

As a result, Million Dollar Vegan chose to make the $100,000 USD donation to Chilis on Wheels as a 'goodwill gesture'. Butler visited Puerto Rico earlier this month to view the work that Chilis on Wheels carries out with survivors of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, which killed around 3,000 people.

The organization served15,000 vegan meals, and provided groceries, water filters, solar lanterns, and hygiene products.

It then set up a permanent community centre in San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital city, where it continues to serve vegan food to vulnerable people, and also holds workshops, training, documentary screenings and community events which make veganism accessible to all.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis never responded to requests he try a plant-based diet during Lent (Photo: Jeon Han)

'Humbling and inspiring'

"It was very humbling and inspiring to meet people in Puerto Rico who are helping to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Maria," said Genesis Butler, who visited the Chilis on Wheels to observe its work.

"It was wonderful to see how vegan food – as a sustainable food choice – can help hurricane survivors in a country where many people have been forced to go hungry.

"It was also great to hear how Million Dollar Vegan's $100,000 donation will help Chilis on Wheels continue the amazing work in Puerto Rico and in other countries too. Even though the Pope didn't agree to go vegan for Lent, I'm really happy that many people in need will still benefit from this campaign, and that we were able to encourage thousands of people to try a vegan diet – to help animals, our planet and our health."

'Beyond delighted'

"We are beyond delighted to receive the donation of $100,000 from the Million Dollar Vegan campaign," added Michelle Carrera, Founder of Chilis on Wheels.

"Puerto Rico is a country that has been hugely affected by extreme weather events and food insecurity. The donation will enable us to continue to offer vegan meals to people in need, providing a sustainable diet as a way to build a better future."

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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