Updated January 19, 2021. Herban-Eats is the latest vegan company to receive a $10,000 grant from Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD initiative and the NAACP.
The grant was awarded to Herban-Eats as part of the fourth round of funding from The Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund. Beyoncé and the NAACP have now supported 715 small businesses, many of whom struggled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Herban-Eats founder Dawn Hilton-Williams said on social media that she only just found time to apply for the grant between working on the different aspects of her business. Her Simpsonville, South Carolina-based company provides services such as vegan catering, meal preparation, community outreach, and plant-based education.
“I have worked with local state legislators on various food-dessert and Vegucation-centered projects in disproportionately impacted communities,” Hilton-Williams told LIVEKINDLY. “My company’s mission is to radicalize wellness with food.”
“We believe that a successful transition for black and brown communities can be both vegan and minimally processed,” she continued. “While also being affordable, vegucational, and full of familiar Flava. Because of that, we help bring ease to the journey from health-poverty to health-wealth for those who need it most.”
Since the beginning of the coronavirus, Hilton-Williams has shifted Herbert-Eats away from meal prep towards online services, merchandise, recipe books, and mail-order meals. The self-styled “Vegucator” also offers coaching, and when possible — pre-COVID — live cooking demos, speaking, and even her skills as a personal chef.
Supporting the Community
Beyoncé first launched BeyGOOD in 2013. The initiative partnered with local charities in cities that the singer was passing through during her Mrs. Carter World Tour. And in the last year, the charity has undertaken a variety of causes that support people during the pandemic.
In December, BeyGOOD launched housing assistance for families and individuals impacted by COVID-19. The charity has also worked closely with local organizations to provide food, water, cleaning products, masks, and other essentials to communities of color.
“When I headed over […] and saw exactly what BeyGOOD was doing, I knew that the business, social and community things that HE focused on every day was exactly the kind of work Beyoncé was interested in supporting,” wrote Hilton-Williams on Instagram.
In November, Hilton-Williams helped to organize a farmer’s market in the Pleasant Valley Community, where she offered her cooking demonstrations and food for free.
“I would still be doing those initiatives anyway, but this helps me defray the cost of that,” she told Greenville News Online. “It helps me know that I’ll have some good cushion there while I continue to provide the free services for the community.”
“Utilizing virtual and covid-safe tools, the grant allows Herban Eats to continue operations as well as its’ community-based Vegucation initiatives,” Hilton-Williams told LIVEKINDLY. “[These initiatives] are provided year-round at minimal to no cost to communities disproportionately impacted by chronic disease and others interested in learning more about the benefits of a healthy, plant-based vegan lifestyle.”