2020 Year in Review
2020 was a tough year for all of us, we hope you stayed safe and healthy, and we are all looking forward to a brighter 2021! Last year was the first time in its 21-year history that VegFest was canceled. This was especially disappointing because the event shines such a positive light on the plant-based movement in Michigan and attracts so many veg-curious individuals. Plus, we were looking forward to hosting the event in downtown Detroit for the first time. In addition to canceling VegFest, VegMichigan had to make other adjustments in 2020 to continue fulfilling our mission of promoting a plant-based diet. We were able to accomplish our goals and we feel that we will be an even more effective organization in the future because of the changes we made in 2020.
We were ramping up for another big year of in-person outreach last year just as the pandemic hit. During the first quarter of 2020, before the pandemic, we hosted nearly 400 people at talks and food tastings. Dr. Joel Kahn, Dr. Robert Breakey, Marc Ramirez, and others gave presentations, and popular restaurants supplied vegan food samples. Our in-person events even received recognition from VegFund, which awarded us multiple grants because of our effective outreach.
Going Virtual
Once Covid hit, we quickly transitioned to virtual presentations. With Zoom, we were actually able to host more presentations covering a wider variety of topics! For example, we were able to host a popular vegan chocolate maker from New York as well as a humane investment manager from Virginia. The virtual format also made it possible to continue our Plant-Based 101 and other popular presentations. Now that we are virtual, we're able to host Dr. Greger and other out-of-state presenters in 2021.
Delivering Vegan Food Samples
Based on our experience hosting a large number of in-person vegan food tastings over the years, we are convinced that one of the most effective ways to get individuals to move toward a plant-based diet is to have them try delicious vegan foods. Once the pandemic hit, we came up with a plan to deliver free sample packs to those individuals who are new to plant-based eating. This initiative has been such a success that we will expand it in 2021 and continue it even after the pandemic has ended. The sample packs are full of great items, including Beyond Burgers, plant-based milks, Tofurky, and even a free vegan pizza voucher from Cottage Inn.
Expanded Online Resources
With almost everyone spending more time online, we greatly expanded our virtual resources in 2020, including a completely redesigned website and a brand new YouTube channel, blog, and online store. We also grew our community of Instagram and Facebook followers. Our new blog has featured in-depth coverage of important issues, including Black Lives Matter, CAFOs in Michigan, Dr. Jamie's popular Health Corner, as well as delicious recipes!
Supporting the Vegan Community
Supporting and promoting local vegan-friendly businesses is at the heart of what we do, but it became even more important to us this past year as our friends in the restaurant industry were hit hard by the pandemic. To help them, we purchased gift cards and other goodies to be raffled off in our newsletters and on social media. Last year we raffled off more than 50 prizes valued at over $1,500! We were also able to support Hutkay Fusion’s initiative to provide free meals to first responders and those in need. We also showcased the great vegan pizza options around the state with our Best Vegan Pizza in Michigan contest won by Toarmina's in Canton.
The Work We Do in Video, Please Watch
Our top priority at VegMichigan is to get Michiganders to move toward or adopt a plant-based/vegan diet, and we are proud of the work we have done throughout the years. Please watch this short two-minute video highlighting some of our work over the past few years. 

As always, we appreciate your support! Please consider becoming a member or making a donation. Thank you!