The Okra Project Update
For the month of June, we focused on charities that supported communities of color and were able to donate $3,900 to The Okra Project. Here’s a little bit about who they are, what they do, and how they used the donation money.
The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home-cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans people wherever we can reach them. During the Middle Passage, our African ancestors snuck okra onto captive ships to sustain themselves and plant in the new world. Black Diasporic cooking traditions often use the okra plant for its versatility and it is often associated with health, prosperity, and community. In this spirit, The Okra Project hopes to extend free, delicious, and nutritious meals, prepared by Black Trans chefs, to Black Trans people experiencing food insecurity.
So not only do they support the Black Trans community by providing meals, but they also support the same community by exclusively hiring chefs from within the community.
How It Works
Using donations and community support, The Okra Project pays Black Trans chefs to go into the homes of Black Trans people to cook them a healthy meal at absolutely no cost. For Black Trans folks experiencing homelessness or whose homes cannot support their chef’s cooking, The Okra Project collaborates with community spaces and infrastructure to deliver food or create other alternatives.
One session costs The Okra Project $90, which includes paying the chef and groceries. The money received from Worldbuilders gives The Okra Project the capacity to fund almost 44 sessions.
Your donations actively helped combat food insecurity within the Black Trans community.
In addition to their direct service work, The Okra Project’s #FeedTheSoul initiative focuses on producing community efforts, providing resources, and creating affinity spaces that encourage folks to feed not just their bellies, but also their souls.
Here are a few facets of the #FeedTheSoul Initiative:
In response to the increased food, supply, and medication shortages due to COVID-19, The Okra Project has created an emergency fund program to distribute a minimum of $80 to Black Trans folks who apply. The fund also allows Black Trans folks to customize their fund request.
With the money donated to The Okra Project from Worldbuilders, they would have the capacity to provide almost 50 Black Trans people with funds.
Mental Health Recovery Funds
The Okra Project’s Nina Pop and Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Funds are emergency mutual aid funds that raise money to pay for Black Trans people to receive one-time mental health therapy sessions with licensed Black therapists.
With the money raised in coordination with Worldbuilders, your donations could have helped numerous members of the Black Trans community receive the mental health care they need.
In collaboration with UberEats, the Okra Project will be distributing 1,500 vouchers (up to $25) for orders made through UberEats to all Black Trans folks who apply. This was a limited-time partnership for the month of August, 2020.
Your donations to Worldbuilders that were passed on to The Okra Project would have the capacity to provide up to 156 $25 vouchers to Black Trans community members.