Urenna and Antonio Lafortune not too long ago moved to Macon from South Carolina, and up to now couple of years, they’ve labored in direction of consuming much less meat and animal merchandise.
“We haven’t eaten actually heavy meat in the previous couple of years. So we’re actually weaning ourselves off of it this yr, and simply transferring to Macon, we noticed that there was a vegan restaurant,” Urenna Lafortune mentioned.
She’s speaking about Southern Vegan Soul Cafe, the place the group Macon Vegans passes out free luggage of vegan meals on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m.
The couple determined to go to the restaurant to choose up meals, and so they have been serving to move out meals every week ever since, they mentioned.
“They really have actually recent, nice choices for those who are attempting to be vegan, and it helps them get there quicker,” Urenna Lafortune mentioned.
Macon Vegans is a nonprofit group that gives sources and assist for vegans in Center Georgia. The group began giving out plant-based meals luggage to households in want through the vacation season with the assistance of Feeding GA Households, a nonprofit that acquired a grant for the baggage.
“You bought to make the most of what’s in entrance of us and be glad about it since you don’t see this in each state,” Antonio Lafortune mentioned. “This can be a fantastic factor to really be part of a neighborhood that gives wholesome consuming.”
Gigi Weaver, founding father of Macon Vegans, mentioned a bunch of volunteers drives to Feeding GA Households in Atlanta each Tuesday to choose up 50 luggage of meals to offer out.
“We’re a vegan group, however we’re actually making an attempt to assist the neighborhood by way of veganism. We’re making an attempt to deal with a few of our well being points right here, and in addition uplift the neighborhood by bringing extra enterprise to the native companies and the native entrepreneurs,” Weaver mentioned.
Ischemic coronary heart and vascular illness is the main reason behind loss of life for folks in Georgia and in Bibb County, in line with Georgia Division of Public Well being statistics.
Weaver mentioned they don’t require proof of earnings on the meals giveaways.
To become involved, comply with the group on Fb or Instagram at @maconvegans.
WHY FORM A VEGAN GROUP IN MACON?
Gigi Weaver has needed to be a vegan her entire life.
Rising up in an Afro-Cuban faith in south Florida, animal sacrifice remained standard amongst their traditions, and at 5 years previous, Weaver mentioned she needed to kill a fowl throughout a ritual.
“After that, they actually couldn’t get me to eat hen or turkey or something like that, however I feel that was actually after I determined I didn’t need to eat animals,” Weaver mentioned.
Though she needed to eat what her household supplied for her when she was a baby, she determined to grow to be a vegetarian across the age of 14, and he or she moved to veganism in faculty.
“I used to be just about left by myself as a result of my household was not about it,” she mentioned, noting that meat is a crucial fixture in Hispanic tradition and delicacies. “It was positively an journey with meals and a studying expertise for me, however due to that, I did have to coach myself if I didn’t need to get sick and lose vitamin.”
Greater than 20 years later, Weaver determined she was going to assist different vegans really feel a way of neighborhood in Center Georgia by founding Macon Vegans and supply the sources she needed to discover for herself.
Weaver moved to Macon round 13 years in the past, a troublesome place to dwell and be vegan.
During the last 10 years, she mentioned vegan choices have grown and extra eating places have vegan choices on their menus.
When she began Macon Vegans, she organized meetups at totally different eating places to eat vegan meals.
“I did discover, and I hope that it was because of Macon Vegans, that there have been extra choices out there at eating places,” she mentioned.
The teams Fb web page has grown to greater than 1,800 followers up to now two years with out a lot promotion, Weaver mentioned.
“Veganism is a motion that’s rising worldwide, and we’re not other than that right here in Center Georgia. We’re not untouched by that, so it’s rising right here as properly,” she mentioned.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR MACON VEGANS?
Weaver has so much deliberate for 2021, she mentioned.
“Certainly one of our large issues is to carry extra vegan choices to the world, however we’re additionally making an attempt to advocate for our well being,” she mentioned.
She is partnering with Center Georgia Neighborhood Meals Financial institution to grow to be an emergency meals financial institution in 2021 the place they may give out plant-based meals on a month-to-month foundation, she mentioned. As a result of they’re partnering with the meals financial institution, proof of earnings can be required.
The group additionally plans to launch a listing with eating places that provide vegan choices in January 2021. She mentioned the listing can be up to date, and so they plan to have what choices can be found for every restaurant by the spring.
Macon Vegans is planning their third annual Vegan Prepare dinner-Off, and the group is working with Go to Macon to have a Vegan Week just like Burger Week, Weaver mentioned.
“Selecting a vegan way of life is selecting well being for your self. Selecting well being in your planet, and selecting well being and life for different dwelling beings,” she mentioned.