Updated October 16, 2019. | Jaden Smith is partnering with Los Angeles-based restaurant Café Gratitude to serve 10,000 free vegan meals to food insecure communities.
All four Café Gratitude locations began serving the I LOVE YOU Bowl today. The new menu item features seasonal ingredients such as Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, forbidden black rice, and quinoa. The bowl was developed by Tabitha George, the Smith family’s executive chef, based on a bowl she created for the Smiths.
Over the past eight years, Café Gratitude has offered the Grateful Bowl, a community-supported meal that costs under $5. The goal is to serve 10,000 I LOVE YOU Bowls in the restaurant, then give away 10,000 free meals on Skid Row from the I Love You Food Truck starting next year.
I Love You Food Truck
Smith launched the food truck earlier this year in Skid Row. Last September, Jaden Smith and A$AP Rocky took the I Love You Food Truck on the road. The area in Downtown LA has one of the largest populations of homeless people in the U.S.
The initiative offers healthy food to those in need. Smith and his team hand out free vegan bowls made with dark leafy greens, sweet potato, black beans, and grains.
A growing number of studies show that a whole-food, plant-based diet is one of the healthiest ways to eat, capable of lowering one’s risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and certain forms of cancer.
Together with rapper A$AP Rocky, Smith recently took the initiative to Drew Hamilton Houses in Harlem, New York. They handed out more than 500 meals to people in the community, boxes of JUST Water, and 500 MetroCards.
Smith said in a statement, “I’m so honored to have the I Love You truck all the way across the country in Harlem with the help of my brother A$AP Rocky and the whole AWGE TEAM. We love you Harlem.”
Serving Vegan Food to Vulnerable People
Smith isn’t alone in his mission to help vulnerable people access healthy plant-based food. Chillis on Wheels supplies plant-based meals to those in need.
The organization works across the U.S. It advocates for kindness, acceptance, empathy, and respect, “regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, ability, ethnicity, class, circumstance, environment, level of addiction, or species.”
Since it started in 2014, it has supplied more than 38,000 vegan meals in 10 chapters across the country. Among other services, it also holds workshops, clothing drives, and offers mentorship to adults and children. It also provides vegan dog food if needed.
“Chillis on Wheels believes that an empowered community is key in dismantling systematic inequalities that prevent veganism from being attainable by poor and low-income communities,” the organization notes. “Through our networks of support, we’re collectively building alternate systems to make veganism accessible to the areas that we serve.”
Jaden Smith & Charity
Like Chillis on Wheels, Smith has a track record of doing good for others.
Last March, Smith’s JUST Water partnered with a local church in Flint, Michigan to aid in the water crisis that has been ongoing since April 2014, when the city’s water source was switched from the Detroit River to the Flint River. JUST Water donated a mobile treatment system called the “Water Box,” which filters out contaminants such as lead.
“This has been one of the most rewarding and educational experiences for me personally,” Smith said in a statement. “Working together with people in the community experiencing the problems and design(ing) something to help them has been a journey I will never forget. We are planning to deploy more water boxes in Flint and other communities facing similar challenges.”
Prior to that, Smith had donated more than 10,000 cartons of JUST Water to local schools.
Making a Positive Impact
The “Again” rapper is also passionate about the environment and believes that younger generations have the power to make a positive impact. Speaking to Buzzfeed in February 2018, he said: “I feel like the younger generations do care more about the planet than the other generations. There’s more information coming out on a daily basis about the effect that climate change has on all of us.”
Smith isn’t just on a mission to provide food and water, he also likes to give back with clothing. He launched a pop-up — called “ERYS PRESENTS: EVERYTHING BAD FOR YOU” — inside Selfridges’ Designer Street Room last September. The pop-up sold merch for his latest album ERYS — which includes vintage t-shirts printed with the ERYS logo. It also sold pieces from his MSFTS Trippy Summer collection.
Customers were encouraged to donate old items of clothing when they purchased new items. For those attending the launch at Selfridges’ skate bowl, Smith requested ticket-holders bring an item of clothing to donate to UK youth homelessness charity Centrepoint.