Grassroots, Food with a Cause

By Michelle Lyu

Campaign Completed on

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**Update 11/5/8**

Thank you so much to everybody for the generosity and support in helping us reach our goal! We are so humbled by this outpouring of solidarity, and will be reserving what has been fundraised beyond our original $6000 goal for minor truck repairs, paying off debts from prior costs and saving for future needs. We deeply appreciate the continued support, and every dollar donated will continue helping sustain our cause.


Five years ago, UPenn Hillel cooks Troy Harris and Kareem Wallace began developing a solution to the lack of resources in their neighborhoods, a problem devastating to the cultivation of youth in these urban communities. Provided with few opportunities, these youth often drop out of school, turning to drugs and violence.

Grassroots Vegan and Kosher Food Truck, a social business founded by Troy and Kareem, aims to drive community empowerment and social change by employing these marginalized urban Philadelphia youth. They believe that Grassroots will let these youth know that people out there care, give them the chance to develop useful skills and show them know that they can be role models too. Working for the food truck, these youth will engage in a wide variety of practices such as food preparation, financial management, customer service and diligent work. Together, we'll be firing up amazing vegan burgers, pastas, club sandwiches, the best sweet potato fries you could dream of, and more.

If we can just raise these last few thousand dollars, the food truck will be finally be opening. This is where we’re calling for support. It’s been five years since the inception of this project, five years of crowdfunding, struggle and hope, finally coming into fruition — we’re so close. From our first fundraiser, through which we raised $42000, we were able to buy the truck, install equipment within the truck (a flat top grill, steam table, fryer, new gas and electric lines, stainless steel shelving, a heavy-duty generator), form as an LLC, register and insure the food truck, install a service window and wrap the exterior.

There only remains the final costs associated with opening: food preparation equipment, start-up resources, and licensing, which will cost us roughly $6000.

We need your help to support better futures for Philadelphia youth, and hope you’ll consider donating or sharing to help make this dream happen.

***Please share this fundraiser***

Donating through this platform incurs a slight third party 3-4% debit/credit card fee per donation, which is subtracted from the total donation. If you can and would like to ensure 100% of your donation goes toward the fundraiser, please donate by venmo-ing @lyumich. We will manually upload your donation, name and message (which you can include in the venmo payment) on this platform (please let me know if you'd like anything to be kept anonymous).

Thanks for all the support!

-- Michelle, fundraiser/friend of Troy and Kareem

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Team Members

Michelle Lyu

Kareem Wallace

Troy Harris