Gail McGuire, Vegan Soul Sunday

Gail McGuire is the founder of Vegan Soul Sunday, a health, wellness, and fitness event in Oakland, California, featuring cooking demos, health screenings, talks, food sampling, and music.

For decades, low income sections of Oakland have been food deserts, resulting in poor nutrition and reliance on processed foods and sugary drinks that have led to generations of chronic preventable diseases like diabetes. In fact, Gail herself once suffered from medical conditions that have since been resolved through a plant-based vegan diet.

Vegan Soul Sunday aims to provide these same health benefits to low-income local communities by providing free vegan food samples, talks on food justice and nutrition, and vegan cooking demos from local chefs. Additionally, in collaboration with Gail, the Bay Area Black Nurses Association (BABNA) gives free health screenings and provides referrals for follow up care to interested attendees.

When asked about her motivations for organizing the Vegan Soul Sunday event Gail stated, “Improving community health is my primary objective. I believe that VSS is a first step to better health and healing that gives people the opportunity to experience healthy vegan food, learn to cook and also find role models and knowledge for healthier living”

For more information on Vegan Soul Sundays, please visit the event Facebook page or follow VSS on Twitter.

GRANT AWARD DATE: April 28, 2015