Most people think that that vegetarian and vegan foods are weird, boring and tasteless. Most people also think that vegetarian and vegan cooking is way too hard.
Of course, there are so man easy and familiar vegetarian and vegan food options available. But most people don’t know that. So, how do you show them that vegetarian or vegan eating is easy and delicious?
We can give out free food! If non-vegetarians try tasty vegan food, they will learn that vegetarian and vegan dishes can taste just as great as meat dishes. Then, they will be more likely to eat more vegetarian and vegan foods.
But how do you get money to give out free food? Luckily, Vegfund will pay for the food!
When and where will you hold the taste testing?
Fairs, school plays, sport events are good places to give out food.
But you don’t need to be part of a large event to give out food. Just set up a booth in an area where there usually are a lot of students.
Once you decide a date, place, and time, check with your school’s office to make sure they are okay with it.
How many samples do you need to buy?
If you’re giving away food at a large event, like a school fair or sporting event, ask the event organizer for an estimate of the amount of people that will attend the event.
If you’re not giving away food at large event, try to figure this number out by yourself. For example, if you are giving out free food in front of your school at the end of the day, then count the amount of people that are usually in front of your school at the end of the day.
Then, figure out the number of food samples you want to give out. You won’t give out food samples to everyone who attends the event or walks past your stand. You’ll give out samples to somewhere between 1/3 to 2/3 of the people who walk by. You can’t predict this amount, and you will probably end up with either too few or too many food samples.
Which type of food will you give out?
Here’s a list of recommended foods. Choose one or two foods.
Figure out the cost of those foods. You may need to go to a grocery store to figure out the cost, or you can also find the price online.
What brochures will you give out?
Vegfund requires that you give out brochures about vegetarianism with every leaflet you hand out.
Some organizations give out brochures for free, and some make you pay for them. However, even if you have to pay, Vegfund will cover the cost.
How will you followup with people who take samples?
Vegfund requires that you followup with the people that take samples.
Here are some follow-up ideas:
- Ask everyone who takes a sample to write down their email and full name on a piece of paper that you bring. If you can, bring a computer, so people can type their names and emails. Add everyone who writes their name down to your Facebook group or email list.
- Invite everyone to your next club meeting. In that next club meeting, talk about the transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
- Invite everyone who wants to change their diet to participate in a vegetarian or vegan mentorship program.
- Ask everyone to sign a petition to receive more vegetarian and vegan options in your school cafeteria.
Kids under 18 are not allowed to apply for a grant, and neither are non-vegans. If you are under eighteen and/or not vegan, a vegan adult must help you apply. The vegan adult does not need to fill out the application themselves. Instead, you just need to apply under their name.
If you don’t know a vegan adult, this is a little tricky. To find one, join the alliance and we can put you in contact with someone.
As soon as you receive an email from Vegfund approving your grant application, order the food.
Call your local grocery store ahead of time. Make sure that they will have enough boxes of the food samples before the tasting.
Order the brochures that you decided above in question 4.
Organize your volunteers.
Ask club members to volunteer. You can get by with two volunteers, including yourself, but the more the better.
Advertise the event.
Here are some advertising ideas:
- Put up posters around your school and in toilet stalls.
- Ask for an announcement on the daily announcements.
- If you have a school announcement video show, make a video commercial.
Buy the food.
First, make sure you have a place in a refrigerator to put all of the food until the event.
You’ll need to buy the food with your own money. After the event, you will get the money back after sending them the receipt and the photos of the event.
Prepare for the event.
Here’s how to prepare:
- Print out the Vegfund Allergens sign and the Vegfund sign.
- Bring a camera to take photos, because you need to take photos in order to get the grant money back.
- Look at this checklist to make sure you have everything you need. You probably won’t need every item on this list.
- If you want to, bring an ice cooler or mini oven in order to keep the samples cold or warm. If you don’t own a cooler or mini oven, ask Vegfund if they will fund it, or apply for another grant to fund it.
Hold the taste testing!
After the event, sign back into your Vegfund account and fill out the form. In the next month, you’ll get a check with all your money back.
I hope this guide helps you introduce many people to the deliciousness of vegetarian and vegan diets!