My name is Takia McClendon. Like many Philadelphians, I have lost loved ones to diet-related diseases and witnessed type II diabetes, obesity and hypertension take a toll on my family’s health. In Philadelphia, about 900,000 people are overweight or obese. Diet-related diseases have killed over 20,000 residents over the last 10 years. Fast food, tradition, lack of education, and sedentary lifestyles all contribute to the poor health of our city. In response to this crisis, I created Uptown Soul Food, a food cart & catering company, to serve fresh, hip, creative, vegan cuisine while celebrating and upholding traditional African American culinary history. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians have much lower cholesterol levels than meat-eaters and heart disease is less common. Vegetarian meals are typically low in saturated fats and usually contain little or no cholesterol since cholesterol is found only in animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs. I believe a vegan soul food cart can help the city’s overall well being by changing the way people think about their favorite foods. Uptown Soul Food offers food that is not only healthy and nourishing to the body, but is also tasteful and “good for the soul”. Menu items include Vegan Macaroni & Cheese, Deep Fried Southern Chick’n Sandwiches, Collard Greens cooked with Black-Eyed Peas, Sweet Potato French Fries, Homemade Lemonade, Green Smoothies, Fresh Produce and more.
The $1,000 grant will be used to pay for the food safety requirements, licenses and inspections that Uptown Soul Food will need to operate in the City of Philadelphia including but not limited to the food service plan review, mobile vending application, and a sidewalk vendor certification.
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