Professional basketball player Kyrie Irving—who plays for NBA team Brooklyn Nets—recently donated 200,000 vegan Beyond Burgers to Food Bank for New York City to aid its hunger-relief efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. The athlete also partnered with non-profit organization Feeding America and cargo company Lineage Logistics to distribute 250,000 meals to food insecure New Yorkers through food rescue organization City Harvest. “Seeing the effects of COVID-19 reach our loved ones, our schools, our jobs, and access to food has really impacted me,” Irving posted on Instagram. Irving also made a $323,000 cash donation to Feeding America and Lineage Logistics and will match $200,000 of what they raise together during their COVID-19 Response Fund campaign. “I am asking my fans, friends, family, and partners to join me in helping our communities by donating [to the campaign],” Irving said. “Thank you to everyone on the front line working to keep all of us safe, healthy, and fed. Together we can change the world one small gesture at a time.”
In 2017, Irving—who then played for the Boston Celtics—adopted a plant-based diet and credited the transition for the Celtic’s 13-game winning streak later that year. In 2019, Irving—along with 13 other professional athletes—invested in Beyond Meat and kicked off the vegan brand’s “Go Beyond” campaign as an athlete ambassador.