It can be slim pickings for vegetarians at conventional food banks, as staples such as tuna fish regularly stock shelves. For long-time or even lifetime vegetarians, consumption of non-vegetarian foods can be psychologically, emotionally, and sometimes physically traumatizing: Meat eating can conflict with people’s religious beliefs, force individuals to compromise their ethics, and even make some people sick.
Malan Joseph dreamed of starting a vegetarian food bank for over a decade. Inspired by his Hindu and vegetarian wife, Joseph took her sentiments about the plight of low-income vegetarians to heart. In this interview we speak with Joseph, founder of the Ontario Vegetarian Food Bank, the first of its kind in Canada. In May he triumphantly opened the doors to the non-profit facility, a service funded on his own dime without any government support. Joseph’s passion and business-savvy shine through during our conversation as he describes the creation of the bank, a few of his generous (and mysterious!) suppliers, and ways to help fight hunger.
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