Good day! Thank you for following Chilis on Wheels in our quest to fight hunger and build community around vegan meals with empathy and compassion for all!
I wanted to update you on what we have been doing and what is coming up for us! We haven’t been keeping up with the blog portion, but if you follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you’ll know we haven’t gone away! This is what we’ve been busy with!
For our main program, Emergency Food Distribution, in the first half of 2016, 5,400 meals have been served, almost tripling the amount of meals served at the same time on 2015. We continue setting up weekly in Tompkins Square Park, with mobile teams that distribute meals along the perimeter. We have also permanently joined New York Farm Animal Save on their monthly vigils in front of a slaughterhouse where we distribute vegan meals to the community in Harlem. We added a monthly mobile team that distributes food in the Midtown area, and we are hoping to recruit permanent volunteers to increase distributions to a weekly basis.
For our Vegan Dog Food Emergency Distribution program, in the first half of 2016, 204 bags of vegan dog food have been distributed.
For our Vegan Education Program, we continue to collaborate with The Advocacy of Veganism Society and use their leaflets every week in Tompkins Square Park and /engage people in conversations. As of 07/01/2016 Chilis on Wheels Veganteers have had 160 in depth conversations about veganism to the community. We average 5 conversations a week. A conversation is defined as a long honest exchange, where the recipient is engaged and actively seeking information about veganism, actively trying to frame it in their view of the world, regardless of whether they agree to make steps to change their lifestyle. We have given out 2,300 leaflets on veganism and provided mentorship for 32 people transition into veganism.
We have also led talks in schools, colleges, universities, community centers, senior living facilities about veganism and hunger, and community-building, community engagement. We have visited:
Kappa III in the Bronx Middle School
Edward Murrow High School
La Guardia Community College
Brooklyn College of Technology
Educational Alliance Senior Program: Feb
1st Annual Puerto Rico Vegan Fest: Feb
NYU Animal Welfare Collective: Panelist: April
NYC Veg Fest: Kids Area: May
CF United: June
Total Freedom- Consciousness Liberation Conference: Nov 2016
Easy Vegan with JL Fields
Under the Toadstool
If you are a teacher and would like us to visit your class, or if you have a podcast or a blog and would like us to share our story or speak about veganism, or building community, please contact us!
The Youth Engagement Program targets high school and young children, gives them positions of leadership within the organization, and encourages their participation in the community. Our Team Leaders which manage our mobile teams are high school students, primarily from Edward Murrow High School, and freshmen in college. They are also our Administrative Interns who do an array of work from social media management, to thank you letters for donors, and data entry. For small children, this is as simple as being in charge of handing out the water bottles, and talking with the community that we serve. In the first half of 2016, 32 children have volunteered in New York City either on their own or with their parents and range in age from 1 to 18. CoW NYC, up until 7/01/2016 also has had 61 adult volunteers. We have had 786 in-kind labor hours by our dedicated volunteers.
We have put together events for the community where we bring people together, share food, advocate for veganism, and offer workshops.
Events in 2016
Valentines Day: February: Vegan Candy Giveaway, Cookies, Love Space, community-building activities
Earth Day: March: workshops, information, special meal, seed, soil, pots giveaway, vegan chalk challenge
Fourth of July: Special meal
Collaboration with the music band PUSHMETHOD and the running organization BACK ON MY FEET to advocate and address homelessness.
Clothing Drives- May and July
Halloween: Children’s Party, workshops, vegan and community themed games
Thanksgiving: Anniversary and Thanksgiving Community Feast (In 2015, we served over 400 meals on Thanksgiving Day- for 2016 we are aiming for 700 meals)
Christmas: Community Meal
Clothing Drive- September 10th!
We continue to seasonally offer our Special Care Packages to the homeless community. These care packages have soap, shampoo, razors, toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, condoms, and other personal care toiletries, mostly donated by individuals, and vegan and cruelty free businesses. We count with the support of The Fanciful Fox, Dr. Bronners, Sustain. In 2016 we have already provided 135 personal care packages for Winter and Spring. We are currently seeking cruelty-free donations of toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, razors, deodorants.
We continue to offer clothing drives every two months. They are a huge success both with donors and with recipients. Next clothing drive will take place on September 10th.
We continue to nurture our relationship with vegan restaurants and count with the support of Marty’s VBurger, Two Boots Pizzeria (not vegan but donates their vegan pizzas), VBurger, VLife as they donate products that they have leftover.
We are immensely grateful for your support! Together we have built community, we have begun the process of thinking collectively, we have offered and sought refuge in each other on hard times, we are the difference. We are living a different, gentler, kinder, just world. Thank you!