RELEASE: Event Charity Partner Announced

RELEASE: Event Charity Partner Announced

SAN FRANCISCO-- Community Grows was recently named the charity partner for this year’s California Vegetarian Food Festival and Symposium, to take place at the Palace of Fine Arts on Saturday, September 21st.

Founded in 1994, the non-profit’s mission is to cultivate healthy youth through growing gardens in low-income, diverse communities. Its first goal was to reclaim Koshland Park from rampant criminal activity. Since then, it has renovated and/or maintained ten other parks and gardens in the city.

Festival co-organizer Sarah Feoli said she is gratified to partner with Community Grows. “This group is focused on making the world better on several fronts simultaneously. They grow healthy communities by growing healthy food. That’s the definition of working on a grassroots level—literally!” she said.

Community Grows estimates that it serves upwards of 1200 youths annually, through three interconnected programs. First, it provides environmental education modules for elementary schools and after-school programs. Second, it runs “Seed to Mouth” cooking classes for children between the ages of 4 and 14. Third, it offers paid teen internships through the ingeniously titled program BEETS (Band of Environmentally Educated and Employable Teens).

In addition to Community Grows, other non-profits will be showcased at the California Vegetarian Food Festival and Symposium. Information booths will be staffed by reps from The Humane League (working to end the abuse of animals raised for food) and United Poultry Concerns (dedicated to the respectful treatment of domestic fowl), among others.

Vegan food exhibitors will be offering samples and meals for sale. For example, Kuli Kuli will present its Moringa smoothie mix and powder. Loving Hut Vegan Cuisine will purvey plant-based Mongolian Wonder, veggie curry and chow mein. Rescue Chocolate will showcase its dark chocolate bars for humans, while donating all profits to animal rescue organizations.

In addition to plant-based lifestyle exhibitors, the event features speakers on the topics of plant-based diets, health, animal welfare, and environmental activism.

Internationally known physician Michael Greger, MD, and bestselling author, Will Tuttle are amongst this year’s speakers. There will be a vegan athletes panel featuring black belt champion Mirko Buchwald. Podcaster Elysabeth Alfano will do an onsite interview with Grammy Award-winning opera singer (and vegan) Lucas Meachem.

On the cooking stage, innovative plant-based chefs will demonstrate their techniques. Festival-goers can learn and sample bites from the “Nutrition Professor” Timaree Hagenburger, Amy Kunde of Veggie Geeks, Vegan Iron Chef Lisa Books-Williams, and Sacramento Kings caterer Tirzah Love, among others.

In the Mind/Body Zone, attendees will discover chair massage from Oasis Day Spas, Vedic meditation led by James Brown, foot reflexology with Wendell Doman, a Pilates mat class taught by Susanne Staehr of The Pilates Workshop, and Integral Yoga from Swami Arivananda.


Live entertainment and the Kumquat Kids Area will round out the festival’s offerings. Kids 10 and under are free. Discounted military, senior citizen and student tickets are available. Limited VIP tickets available for pre-purchase. For further information or to purchase tickets, visit