Nutritional food disparities are a prominent issue in Black and Brown communities due to disadvantaged socioeconomic area’s access to fewer stores. To combat this issue, 11-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul aims to provide these same communities with healthier alternatives.
“I’m from North Carolina. So, I grew up eating after church on Sunday. I’m at my Granny’s house; we got the full spread of soul food laid out. A lot of times, eating that way is a part of your culture and history, and your way of life,” Paul shared in an interview with For(bes) the Culture.
The Phoenix star shocked fans after adopting a plant-based diet preceding a career-low with the Houston Rockets for the 2018-2019 season. The newfound lifestyle produced substantial results for Paul, crediting faster recovery periods and greater stamina, The Beet previously reported.
Yesterday, Paul announced a new financial venture with leading plant-based protein manufacturer Koia. The partnership aims to ensure healthy foods will be readily available to underserved Black and Brown communities.
“We are thrilled to partner with Chris Paul because he’s an exceptional human being on and off the court, embodying the power of plant-based nutrition,” Chris Hunter — Co-founder and CEO of Koia — said. “We are aligned with Paul around a vision of the future where everyone has access to healthy food and look forward to working together to make that a reality.”
Paul’s objective is to ensure Koia will be accessible to Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campuses beginning in 2022. The initiative will introduce Koia vending machines to encourage healthier lifestyles and will be introduced at Winston-Salem State University — where Paul is registered as a student.
“I’m 36 now, I didn’t do this until I was 33-34, and I just didn’t know. You know it’s something that’s not necessarily taught to you. And a lot of times, in areas of color, urban areas, or whatnot, there’s no healthy options,” Paul said. “So, having a way to get this in places where people of color live, I think is a huge objective for us too,” Paul shared.
Paul’s growing portfolio includes investments in plant-based substitute Beyond Meat and digital delivery service GoPuff. Paul has vowed to provide 50,000 bottles of Koia Straw-nana Dream Smoothie to customers nationwide, a press release states. His goal s be intentional with collaborations between brands to promote long-lasting health improvements in our community.
“My hope for investing in Koia and other changemakers in the industry is that we work together toward a bigger systemic culture shift where underserved communities have access and opportunity to live better, healthier lives,” Paul said in a press release.