Wholesome Minnesota Update

CAA launched Wholesome Minnesota in January. This exciting new program empowers volunteers to make change for animals through the institutions they’re connected to. Whether it’s a school, hospital, faith community, restaurant, or worksite, almost all of us frequent a place that serves food, and by leveraging our involvement, we can generate more plant-based options in our community.

We held our first Wholesome Minnesota Advocacy Training in January in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States and Forward Food. Nearly 50 volunteers attended, and they went right to work making change at  institutions using what they learned.

First, Kacie Mathison spoke with the manager of her workplace insurance incentives programs. After a conversation about the benefits of Meatless Mondays, the manager agreed to implement employee incentive points for those who participate in Meatless Mondays. Way to go, Kacie!

Next, Twin Cities Friends Meeting (Quaker) agreed to provide vegan options after their worship services each Sunday after advocacy from an attendee of the first training.

After that Volunteer Henry Patterson connected CAA with a local catering company preparing more than 20,000 meals daily for charter schools, daycares, and home delivery. After meeting with Wholesome Minnesota leadership,the company agreed to trial vegan meals at a handful of local schools this school year.

In May and June, volunteer Theresa Zingery and program coordinator Julie Knopp made multiple contacts with a suburban school district. The district agreed to serve plant-based meals this coming April for Earth Day.

In July, program coordinator Julie Knopp and executive director Laura Matanah attended the Animal Rights Conference in Los Angeles, gathering new resources to share.

There are two ways you can get involved in Wholesome Minnesota right now to keep this momentum going.


  1. Register  to attend our second Wholesome Minnesota Advocacy Training on Saturday, September 8th at 1:00 pm, co-hosted by the Humane Society of the United States. You’ll even get a free lunch from The Herbivorous Butcher! You can invite friends on Facebook, too.  
  2. Sign up for our volunteer newsletter take part in our growing initiative to get more plant-based options in Twin Cities restaurants. Each week in August, we’re inviting CAA supporters to share a simple, friendly message requesting vegan options at a local restaurant on social media. Just watch for the announcement in our weekly newsletter, and then copy-paste the text and post it to the target restaurant’s Facebook page. By showing local restaurants that a community of consumers is seeking more vegan options, we can inspire institutional change in Minnesota.

For more information or to get involved, email Wholesome Minnesota Program Coordinator Julie Knopp at julie.knopp@exploreveg.org.


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