VIOLIFE® Teams up with RZA to Launch Grant Program to Promote Plant-Based Eating

New Upfield US “Plant Grants” Program Provides Funding, Education and Mentoring. First Year Supports Black-owned Restaurants

Upfield US announced a new grant program, Plant Grants, aimed at promoting plant-based eating through charitable funding, education, and mentorship. This first year is being sponsored by Violife®, an Upfield brand and portfolio of 100% vegan cheeses and spreads, in collaboration with legendary hip-hop artist and long-time vegan, RZA.

The 2021 Plant Grants program will focus on helping community-based Black-owned restaurants recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic recognizing that these businesses are often the economic and cultural centers of their communities.

The program will provide funding to support re-investment in the business, an introduction to plant-based ingredients, and coaching on menu development from two plant-based chef pioneers, Lemel Durrah and Laricia Chandler to inspire Black-owned restaurants to add more plant-based dishes to their menus or convert well-loved recipes to plant-based.

“I’m partnering with Violife because we share a similar philosophy about eating plant-based, and we want to make plant-based eating more accessible, affordable and sustainable to all,” said RZA. “The influence of hip-hop and the culinary history of plant-based eating in Black communities contribute to a movement of embracing meatless options. I’m proud to support Plant Grants to continue this movement and make plant-based eating more readily available at Black-owned restaurants that are at the heart of communities.”

About Plant Grants
The focus of the 2021 Plant Grants program reflects the disproportionate challenges faced by Black-owned community businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic recovery of these businesses, in particular restaurants.

The grant program consists of $20,000 in funding to each recipient; coaching and guidance on plant-based menus and recipes from vegan chefs Lemel Durrah of Compton Vegan and Laricia Chandler Baker widely known as Chef Fab, of Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat and education on including plant-based products in new recipes or transforming time-tested recipes into plant-based options. Marketing and publicity assistance is also part of the program.

Grants will be awarded to five (5) applicants who are selected based on meeting program criteria, including their commitment to plant-based eating, and engaging their community.

The 2021 Plant Grants program sponsored by Violife is open now through July 31, 2021, for interested applicants. The selected grantees will be announced in September 2021.  For additional information on eligibility and applying to the program, please visit

Source: Violife

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About VSheree

V. Sheree Williams is the publisher of Cuisine Noir Magazine, the country's first digital and print culinary magazine that connects the African diaspora through food, drink and travel. For more, in-depth stories, visit
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