Today is World Food Day, a day celebrated around the world by many organizations concerned with hunger and food security. When you’ve never experienced hunger or wondered where your next meal is coming from, it’s a very foreign concept to grasp. In full transparency, I’ve never dealt with this. I’m incredibly fortunate to be born and raised in a middle class family where I was protected and nurtured in a way that then allowed me to create a life that I could take care of myself and my own family.
This is not the case for billions of others around the world. Last March, I traveled to India and saw poor, hungry, shoeless children crammed in building crevices.
Last week, I went for a jog around my neighborhood and saw homeless, hungry men and women living in tents under a freeway pass.
With the pandemic and the rise of unemployment in this country alone, more than 54 million people may be facing hunger in 2020, including a potential 18 million children.
The prospect is daunting and can be immobilizing for many. However, the duo behind the Los Angeles’ based company Misha’s Kind Foods - an artisan, plant-based, dairy-alternative brand - is doing something about it.
Serial entrepreneur Aaron Bullock and Chef Ian Martin created Misha's "Feed Our Family" program in May with the intention of feeding one million people by the end of 2025, starting with Angelenos.
“As a pilot program, our initial intent was to feed at least one family per week,” says Bullock. “Through the generous contribution from fellow Farmers’ Market vendors [though], we've collected enough food to provide 2 to 3 families a healthy supply of fresh produce every week. We've also had a few partner organizations provide support that allows us to purchase groceries from a minority-owned grocery outlet and deliver them to families as well.”
So who are these guys?
With a proven track record for turning concepts into fully formed, successful and highly lucrative businesses, Bullock is a licensed Traditional Naturopath with a Business Analysts Certification from Harvard Business School. He’s shown great success creating profitable businesses that generate positive financial benefit for his partners while increasing the quality of life for his customer base at a consistently fair cost.
Chef Ian Martin is a certified raw vegan/living foods private chef. Having the unique privilege to study and work with two giants in Gourmet Living Food, Juliano’s Planet Raw and Matthew Kenny’s M.A.K.E., Ian draws from both culinary styles to create his own flavor profiles, which are always nutritious, healthy and delicious. When Ian isn’t creating amazing chesses for Misha’s Kind Foods, he is preparing living foods for clients and his family. Specializing in living gourmet, transitional raw/vegan, and 80/10/10 cuisine, Ian focuses on making dishes full of flavor, satiating, satisfying and healthy. Whenever possible, always using organic local produce.
Because of COVID-19, sales of Misha’s Kind Foods slowed down significantly during March and April. They’re used to doing a big business at communal Farmers Markets. Over the last few months, though, attendance has started to pick up and their cheeses - made from a cashew and almond milk base - have become a hot commodity again. Says, Bullock, “Although sampling is still banned, the word of mouth around our cheese has been palpable, so we have been fortunate enough to have fully recovered!”
Later this year, Misha's Kind Foods will be carried in select Whole Foods stores around town. You can also find them at Erewhon, Lassen's and Mother's Markets. Based on their passion for food, health conscious living and a desire to help change the world, the team behind Misha’s Kind Foods is a living embodiment of their name...and a true inspiration.