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December 23, 2022
Thanks to generous donations by foundations and individual supporters we have recently been able to hire someone to support and expand our growth! Abbey Feola will be our new full-time Program Manager.
You may recall that Abbey was working for us 10 hours a week as a program assistant. She has been doing an outstanding job supporting other staff. The needs of our growth require more hours and an enhanced focus. We have created a new position that will organize and coordinate many of our initiatives this year.
Abbey (she/her) joined CAA as Program Assistant in February of 2022 after volunteering at several CAA events and loving the open, welcoming atmosphere she found there. As Program Assistant, she supported participants taking the Explore Veg Challenge and assisted with a variety of other CAA programming.
The event, in honor of Veganuary, will be on Sunday, January 22nd from 6 pm to 8 pm Central Time. You don’t have to stay the entire time. It is very flexible so people can come late or leave early if needed.
The meeting is to talk about the documentary, The End of Medicine. This documentary explores the correlation between the treatment of animals and emerging health threats. You can watch it for free HERE.
CAA welcomes our newest board member Lydia Green, who comes to CAA with experience from several other animal advocacy organizations. She has served in Executive Assistant positions and is excited for her first opportunity to serve as a Board Member. Her experience with other animal advocacy groups will be valuable to the board.
Back in 2018, Lydia began working with CAA at Twin Cities VegFest as a sponsorship coordinator. She has also been a food demo coordinator and, most recently, helped at the CAA booth during the Pride Festival. There she helped spread awareness of the suffering of farmed animals.
In addition to her work with CAA, she has volunteered with Mercy for Animals (community outreach and event planning), Agriculture Fairness Alliance (grant-writing), Animal Rights Coalition (protests and outreach events), and Farmaste Animal Sanctuary (Animal Care Provider). As a result, she sees the value of collaborative work on behalf of animals. In addition, she brings some fresh ideas for community outreach and education.
Lydia shared why she wants to join our board: “I believe in the mission of CAA and want to work towards moving people to a vegan/plant-based lifestyle to improve the lives of farmed animals and our planet.” She is always looking for more ways to be involved in animal advocacy. Her personal goal is to have her own micro-sanctuary for rescued goats.
Lydia answered a few questions to help us get to know her and what she brings to CAA:
What do you like about CAA? What would you like to see CAA change or improve upon?
“I like that CAA is dedicated to helping people go vegan and improving the lives of farmed animals. I would like to see CAA more involved with community outreach to reach a larger demographic, especially with youths. For example, I would love to see a program where children/young adults are educated about a plant-based lifestyle and take field trips to farm sanctuaries to build a personal relationships with farmed animals. I would also love more collaboration between other animal advocacy groups in the Twin Cities.”
In your opinion, how should the animal advocacy movement go about achieving its goals?
“I think there has to be a good balance between education and resources. The public has to be educated about the impact of their actions but also be provided resources to change their habits and beliefs. In addition, many animal advocacy groups work in silos, which is very unfortunate because we are up against corporations and individuals with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. It will take a lot of teamwork and dedication to dismantle the current systems. Animal advocacy groups should work more collaboratively to achieve set goals and create a more impactful and effective movement.“
What experience do you have with fundraising? As a CAA Board Member, how would you help CAA raise money?
“I think it would be a good idea to try to plan CAA fundraising events and other activities with some local businesses that are also passionate about animal advocacy. I would happily help and/or manage fundraising events or activities for CAA.”
A guest blog from Chicken Run Rescue
People are often surprised to learn that chickens have rich emotional lives and enduring relationships and even more amazed that they can still have those needs satisfied despite physical limitations. CRR residents and caregivers live under the same roof and allow for those intimate insights.
Chickens are flock animals and psychologically evolved to live with others for their world to make sense. When a bond develops between birds with physical challenges, there is no thrill and satisfaction like seeing them nurture each other.
All your life you have probably heard tips to keep your food safe—especially when cooking for others. Maybe you thought that the need for that all went out the window for plant-based meals. Not true! Vegan meals do avoid many of the dangers that can come through preparing meat and dairy products. However, there are still some steps you need to take to ensure it is safe to eat vegan food as well.
We have a lot of special potlucks and other opportunities to share meals. So it becomes especially important to make sure we are up-to-speed on keeping food safe.
When looking around for food safety manuals, we realized there weren’t any specific to plant-based food safety. Now there is!
Volunteer Yosan Worota, along with staff members Emily Nyberg and Stef Amundsen worked on adapting the USDA’s food safety handbook to make it more useful and relevant to you. Now it is ready. Perfect information for potlucks!
For more information and a link to the food safety guide: exploreveg.org/foodsafety
This summer CAA was thrilled to have Muniratu Shaibu as one of our two summer interns from South High School. She did such a great job she is now a part time staff member at CAA!
While an intern, she worked with our Community Organizer, Tamuno Imbu to assist with various projects over the two month internship. She helped out at the booths at both V-Fests and did presentations at South and Northside High Schools. Now she will be helping out as a program assistant in a variety of capacities!
Muniratu tells us that “I’ve definitely gained lots of useful insight on veganism and CAA over the summer. One of them is the various alternatives to meat and how creative you can get with your cooking as a vegan.”
Our 20th Annual Vegan ThanksLiving Potluck attracted over 100 people to celebrate! It was our first in-person ThanksLiving in three years. We held it at the St. Paul Student Center at the University of Minnesota. The large space ensured that there was plenty of room for all who were interested!
We called the event ThanksLiving to help us remember why our community gathers to celebrate. Read more about our choice of ThanksLiving here.
Support+Feed (supportandfeed.org) is partnering with CAA’s Wholesome Minnesota to educate youth groups on the importance of plant-based eating. The issue is being presented related to the benefits for both personal health and the environment.
Support+Feed is an intersectional nonprofit organization dedicated to creating an equitable, plant-based food system and combating food insecurity and the climate crisis. Founded in Los Angeles by Maggie Baird, Support+Feed has expanded to ten US cities, worked with over 80 community organizations and supported local economies across the country.
Last Thursday, Support+Feed and Wholesome Minnesota met with the students of the two Bloomington High Schools: Jefferson and Kennedy’s Green Team and Voices of Unity. Support+Feed donated 40 meals from J. Selby’s for the meeting!
We had a lively discussion with students about the environment and inclusivity. Participants also explored the possible ways our organizations can support them. The students expressed interest in learning more about plant-based nutrition and cooking and how to spread the word about these issues. In future, Support+Feed will be sending meals/snacks to the weekly student meetings (how awesome is that?).
The students loved the food and many were shocked to find that the meals were plant-based! They said that they would be telling their friends about it. What do you want to bet that there will be more students at the next meeting? 🙂
We also talked a lot about issues surrounding school lunch and how they might help encourage food services to include more plant-based and inclusive options. The principal and three teachers are supportive of the students’ activism around plant-based eating.
As part of this effort, the students have developed their “ask” for inclusive school food and will be sending it to administration in the near future. This effort is completely student-led.
The cookbook selection for November was The Korean Vegan by Joanne Lee Molinaro. Those who attended the zoom Vegan Recipe Club had a great time sharing their experience with the selected recipes. To find out more about the cookbook and the recipes we shared, read below.
The Vegan Recipe Club takes a break in December. We will see you in January!
The Korean Vegan by Joanne Lee Molinaro
This New York Times bestselling cookbook has received lots of rave reviews. It’s a James Beard Award winner that was named one of the best cookbooks of the year. The author, Joanne Lee Molinaro includes her favorite Korean dishes, some traditional and some reimagined.
We selected five dishes/sauces for our discussion. Download the recipes below.
On November 13, CAA held an event to show appreciation for our donors and volunteers. Their support is crucial to all we do!
Yunuén and Sanchez Brown (donors, volunteers and Development Committee members) once again generously hosted the party. They fed us with Sanchez’s famous tasty Vegan Chorizo Tacos! There were also scrumptious drinks and desserts. Yummy Mexican Wedding Cookies by Sarah Matanah were one of the options. With the event so close to Halloween we kept that vibe going with a Stranger Things decor and costumes.