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Vegan cheese brand offers Plant Grants to Black-owned restaurants

Aiming to make plant-based food more widely accessible, vegan cheesemaker Violife has launched a multiyear 'Plant Grants' funding program. This year, acknowledging the impact the pandemic has had on Black communities, those grants will be awarded to Black-owned restaurants. 

Five grants of USD 20,000 will be provided to applicants based in the US. To be applicable, restaurants need to have fewer than 50 employees and be at least 51% Black-owned. 

In addition to financial support, grantees will receive support in developing new, affordable plant-based dishes and are expected to keep those on their menu for at least six months. They'll be coached by chefs Laricia Chandler Baker of Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat and Lemel Durrah of Compton Vegan.

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Greece-based Violife's Plant Grants tap into two current trends: supporting Black entrepreneurs in the wake of George Floyd's murder, and a sharp increase in sales of plant-based foods. Black Americans are actually ahead of the curve when it comes to vegan and vegetarian diets — a 2019 Gallup Poll found that 31% of people of color in the US reported cutting down on meat, compared to just 19% of white Americans.