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Plants on Wheels was founded in July of 2023 with the mission of breaking patterns of neglect towards vulnerable and impoverished individuals. By distributing clothing and free, plant-based meals throughout New York City, Plants on Wheels aims to establish a society where every person has what they need to live healthily and achieve their goals.


The New York State Comptroller estimates that nearly 14% of New Yorkers live in poverty and roughly 800,000 struggle with food insecurity— statistics which disproportionately affect socially marginalized Black and Latinx communities. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in widespread losses, and as federal aid programs are now coming to a close, many more are subject to an inadequate food environment, posing serious long-term physical and mental health risks.


Diet-related health concerns account for nearly fifty billion dollars in annual healthcare costs in the United States. Associated with decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic conditions, plant-forward diets have been endorsed by numerous reputable health organizations including the American Dietetic Association, World Health Organization, and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To reduce the progression of climate change, the United Nations also advocates for industrialized societies to shift towards plant-rich food systems, recognizing that plant agriculture uses less natural resources and produces fewer greenhouse gasses than animal farming.


Since its founding, Plants on Wheels has prepared and delivered between 30 and 50 fully plant-based meals weekly throughout the five boroughs, served hundreds of people through holiday events in Washington Square Park, and run numerous clothing and coat drives for those in need. With the help of donors, volunteers, and community partners, Plants on Wheels envisions a future where every individual, each community, and the planet are looked after.


Lawrence Katz has been passionate about wellness and helping others since childhood. After receiving his black belt in Tae Kwon Do at 13 years old, he began teaching the art form to underprivileged youth, where he realized the difference he could make in others’ lives. Inspired to further serve his community, Lawrence continued teaching for years, expanding his work by demonstrating in old-age homes. He thereafter started a rock-climbing gym, where he worked extensively with the Board of Education and Special Needs community.

Cybill Validum is an old soul and self-described treehugger with years of experience serving humanitarian causes. Between her work with Community Voices Heard, the New American Chamber of Commerce, and Bottom Line, she has gained an appreciation for educating and fostering the success of others. Today, Ms. Validum continues to provide aid to those with debilitating health issues, in hospice care, and in need of legal support as well as to advocate for others through creative writing.

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