Building on his 2019 food truck venture, the I LOVE YOU food program, he is now opening up a physical establishment as well.
Jaden Smith is expanding his service to homeless people by opening a new restaurant where they can dine for free. Building on his 2019 food truck venture, the I LOVE YOU food program, he is now opening up a physical establishment to further address the food insecurity among homeless people. The Karate Kid star is also a well-known environmentalist and activist. He launched the I LOVE YOU food trucks when he turned 21 two years ago, to provide healthy vegan food in Los Angeles’ Skid Row, the center of the city’s homeless population. He later brought the food services to New York's Harlem as well.
The restaurant will work on a paying-it-forward basis to cover the cost of food for those who can't pay. “If you’re not homeless, not only do you have to pay, but you have to pay for more than the food’s worth so that you can pay for the person behind you,” Smith explained about the project saying it was for homeless people to get free food, according to Metro. The 22-year-old who has been working to feed disadvantaged communities says the project is "about giving people what they deserve, healthy vegan food for free." His food trucks have managed to feed thousands of people in both Los Angeles and Harlem.
As an activist and philanthropist, in addition to helping the homeless people, he has also helped provide clean water to Flint, Michigan. The water crisis in Flint began in 2014 when it was found that water was contaminated with lead. The consumption of this water had caused serious health problems for the residents including children whose blood had high levels of lead, according to the Associated Press. Smith has contributed to the resolution of the water problem as well. He also headed the 501CTHREE.org's Water Box project to provide access to clean water to the community of Flint.
The project has managed to replace 306,264 single-use plastic bottles with 38,283 gallons of safe, free water distributed, as per the website. "501CTHREE partnered with First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church to develop an alternative way for the church and other community organizations to get water to Flint’s residents - one without the high cost, heavy logistics, and plastic waste of relying on single-use water bottles," the website read. The water filtration system in Flint is established in four locations. Additionally, filtration systems are also available in Skid Row, LA, and Newark, New Jersey as well.
His parent's philanthropic foundation, the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation, joined their son's effort in collaboration with Lyft to donate $50,000 in rideshare credits to help connect underserved communities to healthy groceries and clean water with reliable transportation. “I’m proud to be partnering with Lyft on their LyftUp initiative. Together, we'll be providing rides to communities who need them most,” Smith told BET.com. “In Flint, these rides will be used so community members can access clean, fresh water through our 501CTHREE.org partners," he explained.
Jaden Smith and the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation have partnered with LyftUp to donate $50,000 in ride share credits to help underserved communities get to healthy grocery stores and clean water.— 411pain (@411PAIN) November 18, 2020
#Communitynews #JadenSmith #LyftUp #Celebritiesdoinggood pic.twitter.com/35ueCMOper
In Los Angeles, however, their focus was on providing rides to grocery stores, clean water, and jobs for the residents of Skid Row. They could do this through the I LOVE YOU community partners. "We believe in the power of transportation, and that access to a ride can mean access to an opportunity,” he said. The LyftUp initiative also played a huge role in the 2020 Presidential Elections. They partnered with When We All Vote and Vote.org to get people registered and access to free rides to polling locations on Election day in many cities. Several celebrities, including Cardi B, Lebron James, and DJ Khaled, helped raise awareness for the national voting initiative.