VO’s Stacy Shepanek with Mac Down SC chefs

Vegan Mac Down in South Carolina

By Lori Stultz, VO Communications Manager

A few weeks ago, we shared about the delicious and crowd-pleasing Vegan Mac Down events we’ve been hosting in various cities across the US. VO South Carolina Outreach Coordinator and Communications Designer Stacy Shepanek more recently hosted a Mac Down competition in Columbia, SC, with the help of Good Life Café.

Mac Down SC dishes

The successful event attracted over 200 vegans, vegetarians, and veg-curious folks. In addition to a variety of mac and cheese dishes prepared by ten regional chefs, attendees sampled Daiya cheezecake, and many watched Animal Equality’s iAnimal virtual reality video on the dairy industry.

Volunteer Tony Carr with iAnimal viewers at Mac Down SC
Above: Volunteer Tony Carr gets an attendee set up with iAnimal after her 13-year-old son, a new vegan from a previous VR event, encouraged her to experience what had impacted him.

One of the major highlights of the competition was the three vegan celebrity chefs who had the privilege of judging the different types of vegan mac. The lucky tasters were Trisha Mandes, a local vegan nutritionist and chef, April Blake, a food blogger and writer for South Carolina’s Free Times newspaper, and Mimie Holmes of Mimie’s Delect-A-Bowls (below).

Mac Down SC judges Trisha Mandes, April Blake, and Mimie Holmes

After making some tough decisions, the judges awarded the “Most Original” mac and cheese recipe—Chimichacaronis—to Yvette Garcia, owner of Lady Go-Go’s Eats and Treats. And the “Best of Show” award went to community member Gloria Clay. Her winning recipe—Adam’s Vegan Mac and Cheese Collard Green Bake—will be featured on VO’s Vegan Living & Advocacy Blog in the coming weeks.

Stacy Shepanek with Mac Down SC winners Yvette Garcia and Gloria Clay

The news of Mac Down SC spread quickly and caught the attention of VegNews, One Green Planet, and the local Good Morning Columbia show on WACH Fox News, and Free Times newspaper. Congratulations, Stacy, on a successful event. And a big thank you to Good Life Café, and all the amazing volunteers, judges, and competing chefs!


Globally Local Vegan Drive-Thru

Have you heard about Globally Local? It’s a new fast-food drive-thru in Canada and it’s 100% vegan! VO Outreach Coordinator John Deetjen had the opportunity to check it out, so now we’ve got the scoop! Read all about it here.

Globally Local burger
Photo: © Globally Local


World Vegetarian Awareness Month

Celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month with our friend Sharon Palmer, RD. She’s provided five easy and practical tips for anyone who’s looking to eat more plant-based meals.

Sharon Palmer
Photo: © Sharon Palmer, RDN / The Plant-Powered Dietitian


Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl

A delicious and wholesome Mediterranean-infused meal, provided by Sharon Palmer as part of the Vegetarian Awareness Month celebration. Get the recipe here.

Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl
Photo: © Sharon Palmer, RDN / The Plant-Powered Dietitian


Rice Crispy Treats: Two Ways

A classic sweet totally veganized! Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul shares her recipes here.

Rice Crispy Treats: Two Ways
Photo: © Jenné Claiborne / Sweet Potato Soul


Recent Feedback

Yuki Takahashi and Yuri Mitzkewich on tour with VO mobile
Above are VO’s Yuki Takahashi and Yuri Mitzkewich on tour with the VO mobile. Yuki got a VO leaflet at UC Berkeley back in 2003—he later went vegan, then became an animal activist!

Solid day to finish this incredible week for Team Yuki / Yuri! Even with the rain, students at the University of Texas at Arlington gave us a great reception. Both of us had many good conversations, with a half-dozen saying they’ll be transitioning to vegan after today. It was a great way to wrap up this unbelievable tour we’ve been on since starting in Orlando five short weeks ago.

It’s been an amazing run for us since Yuki joined VO as an intern on August 25. The numbers we’ve been able to reach have been truly incredible—21,000 this last week alone. Overall Yuki has reached a mind-boggling 38,000 in 25 days, helping us reach a total of 84,000-plus as a team in that short time. Going from Florida to Alabama, Mississippi to Louisiana to Texas, we broke all-time state records in four of these five states—and put together an amazing run of 21 straight days breaking campus records! It’s truly hard for me to put into words what an incredible experience this has been. It goes to show what wonderful things individuals can accomplish when we put ourselves out there in a position where we’re able to make change for the better for our animal friends!

—Yuri Mitzkewich, VO Southeast Outreach Coordinator, 9/29/17


Upcoming Events

DurhamVeg Vegan Festival • October 14 • Whitby, ON
More info.

Boston Veg Food Fest • October 21–22 • Boston, MA
More info.

Kingston VegFest • October 21 • Kingston, ON
More info.

More upcoming events.


Have you ever tried vegan mayo?


Vegan Outreach is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to expose and end cruelty to animals through the widespread distribution of our booklets promoting plant-based eating and compassion for animals.

All donations are fully tax-deductible.

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