USA: Bridge to Health and Healing
Welcome, family!” Auntie Sarah calls out as a few more hungry people walk through the door. Everyone who visits the Veg Hub in Oakland, California, is considered family, and customers feel the love. Right now, this Urban Center of Influence (UCI) is a popular restaurant offering vegan comfort food, but that’s just the first step toward its ultimate aim: becoming a church plant.
General manager Chef G. W. Chew (his real name) is passionate about making good food that is both delicious and nutritious but he’s even more passionate about reaching his community. The Veg Hub is strategically positioned in the heart of Oakland to be a bridge to the community through healthy food, education, and the love of Christ. Chef Chew and Auntie Sarah lead cooking classes to educate and empower community members who live in food deserts (without access to fresh produce and healthy, affordable food) or suffer from diet-related diseases.
The Veg Hub’s mission is to improve community members’ health, both physically and spiritually. As this UCI expands, small groups, Friday night socials, and community service projects will be added. Chef Chew likens this to John the Baptist’s ministry, saying, “We’re like a voice in the wilderness crying out, letting people know there’s something better.”