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HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Food pantries help so many people in metro Detroit, but they don’t cater to those with dietary restrictions.

Vegans who are out of work and need food assistance now have somewhere to go for help.

Karen Kahn Shultz started Nosh Pit in Hamtramck four years ago with a dream.

“We focused on doing something good for the world,” said Karen.

Creating and serving delicious vegan meals, it’s more than just a passion, it’s a mission.

Usually this time of year, 75 percent of her business comes from her food truck, festivals and catering events

“Weddings planned for every single weekend throughout the summer,” said Karen.

Then the pandemic hit. Weddings and festivals were canceled, Cadillac Square and Campus Martius emptied out.

“I hit a low, I hit a really big low,” said Karen. “I even called for a therapist because I felt like everything we had worked towards for the last four years had come to a very sudden uncontrollable stop, but then I looked around me and saw that other people had it worse.”

She realized local food pantries don’t cater to dietary restrictions.

“What do you do when you’re a vegan, and the food that you’re offered is not vegan?” Karen said.

So she started a vegan food pantry! A $25 donation feeds a family for a week combined with product donations.

Items include: Cauliflower rice, kombucha, lavendar lemonade, non-dairy cheese and daiya.

So far, she has fed 300 vegan metro Detroit families in need.

She still sells hot meals from her dinner menu and expanded to sell vegan grocery items for curbside pick up and delivery – doing what she can to stay afloat herself, while keeping the community she loves well-nourished.

“If I can’t help myself, I can help other people and that’s what’s kept me going.” said Karen.

Right now, Nosh Pit is in need of donations to continue their free food program. There website also has a grocery store selling local vegan items and a menu to order carry out.

Donate here.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

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See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Nosh Pit Detroit provides vegan food pantry for families in need amid COVID-19
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