One of the two biggest initiatives of the Gregory J. Reiter Memorial Fund this year was working with Food for Thought – A Program of Animal Place to develop a new program arm focused on helping wildlife and environmental organizations to adopt animal-friendly event menu policies.
The Food for Thought program Year in Review was just released, outlining everything Animal Place and the Greg Fund have been able to accomplish since we launched the new program arm in May. Altogether 24 groups adopted new formal veg policies as a result of Food for Thought’s expanded outreach, and an additional 50 new organizations formally endorsed the program.
Animal Place, one of the oldest and largest sanctuaries for farmed animals in the United States, had a profound influence on Greg and me: an educational tour of the sanctuary in the year 2000 was what inspired us to become vegetarian, and set us on the path to becoming vegan some years later. Even after we moved from California to the east coast, we remained in touch with the sanctuary staff, and continued to make annual financial contributions to the sanctuary. On our last trip to Northern California together in early 2013, just as we were preparing to move to our own little farm in Virginia, we attended an Animal Place presentation at Sacramento VegFest on the topic of veganic gardening.
Providing a grant to create this new program arm – and also providing hands-on help with its outreach – was the perfect way to honor Greg’s and my shared commitment to animal rescue, veganism and wildlife conservation.