Minnesota’s Twin Cities Are Becoming a Vegan Hotspot Thanks to Billie Eilish’s Favorite Charity
Eat Drink Give, a new celebrity-backed vegan initiative, just landed in the Twin Cities. Maggie Baird—mother of vegan musical artists Billie Eilish and FINNEAS—brought the event to the Twin Cities as a way to form the food scene while helping to fight hunger in the region.
In March 2020, Baird founded Support + Feed, an initiative she created with the mission of feeding frontline workers and vulnerable populations while supporting local vegan restaurants.
Support + Feed launched Eat Drink Give in the Twin Cities as a 10-day long restaurant activation, running from October 20 through October 30, that aims to encourage restaurant goers to eat plant-based food and in turn give back to their community.
Minneapolis local Stephanie Dillon, a climate activist and artist, worked with organizers to make Eat Drink Give a reality after witnessing the high rates of hunger and the need for more nutrient dense food in her community.
New vegan options come to the Twin Cities
As part of the initiative, nine local Minnesota restaurants are revamping their menus and adding vegan options, if not previously offered. These include Milton’s American, Maui Acai Bowls, Mother Dough Bakery, Rise Bagel Co., Herbivorous Butcher, The Harriet Brasserie, Lake & Irving, Fhima’s Minneapolis, and Hen House Eatery.
Plant-based meat companies Impossible Foods and Daring Foods have partnered with Support + Feed to provide plant-based proteins to the chefs for the restaurant week’s special menu items.
“The Twin Cities has evolved to have food and climate initiatives including a plant-based proclamation from the City of Minneapolis, the educational work of Climate Generation, and leadership programs at the U of M’s Institute on the Environment,” Michelle Courtright, founded of Minneapolis-based, eco-vegan eatery Fig and Farro, tells VegNews.
“Much more needs to be done but people are slowly changing their eating habits to reflect the reality that our food system has an enormous impact on climate change,” Courtright says.
Vegan menu items from Fhima’s Minneapolis were served by Support + Feed at the Twin Cities Film Festival on October 20, the initiative’s kick-off day, allowing festival goers to try the new dishes for the very first time.
In addition, Support + Feed has been working in the Twin Cities with Minnesota Central Kitchen to include plant-based food in its food distribution program.
Support + Feed
Support + Feed helps communities in need
Since the launch of Support + Feed, Baird has expanded the initiative to include other cities such as New York City, NY, Philadelphia, PA, and Washington, DC. During the election season in November, Baird worked with a number of vegan companies, including Monty’s Good Burger, to help feed voters and poll workers in cities across the country, including in Los Angeles, CA and Phoenix, AZ.
“Giving to those in need is built into the foundation of Monty’s,” the vegan chain’s co-founder Nic Adler previously told VegNews. “Partnering with Support + Feed has allowed us to deliver plant-based meals to individuals and families in the most underserved communities.”
“I could not be more proud of the work that has been done over the past year by Maggie and her army of volunteers; true heroes in the greatest time of need,” Adler said.
In addition to feeding vulnerable populations and supporting vegan restaurants, Support + Feed is on a mission to educate the public about the harmful environmental effects of animal agriculture—which accounts for approximately 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
“What we imagined as a few months worth of effort became a year of full-time volunteering for so many,” Baird said in a statement. “And now, as we have seen the impact that receiving this nourishing, delicious food has had for people and also knowing that every plant-based meal we serve has a positive impact on climate change, we are more committed than ever.”
Celeb-backed vegan options expand in Minnesota
In addition to the Eat Drink Give event, vegan options are expanding in the Twin Cities with the recent launch of the first vegan food concession and dairy-free ice cream cart at the Target Center, home of NBA team Minnesota Timberwolves.
Created in partnership with vegan food company Wicked Kitchen, the new concession menu features three different sandwich options: Grilled Chorizo Brat, Jalapeño Gouda Burger, and a Meatball Sub. The company’s vegan ice cream novelties—made from a base of lupini beans—are also available at the Target Center.
Prior to opening its vegan concession stand, Wicked Kitchen closed a $20 million funding round—with help from longtime friend and vegan actor Woody Harrelson—to support its mission of making vegan food the norm.
In addition to the Target Center offerings, Minneapolis’ Target Field—home of MLB team Minnesota Twins—has had vegan concession options since 2019 thanks to local vegan company The Herbivorous Butcher, the first vegan butcher shop in the US. The vegan butcher shop and deli is a favorite amongst celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Guy Fieri, Jon Stewart, and Alan Cumming.