Nonprofit Dishes up Free Vegan Lunches for Ashland Oregon High School Students


Ashland One Free Vegan Lunch Program for StudentsA parent in Ashland, Oregon has decided to put their time and money where their mouth is, and create a better food option for local students. Once a week during the next academic year, the One Ashland food truck plans to pull up across from the high school and serve free vegan lunches. The fare will still have kid appeal, with options like quesadillas, grilled “cheese” (made with cashew “cheese”), and “ice cream,” but all dishes will be 100% vegan.

The program founder, Johan Ziems, has a daughter who attends Ashland Middle School. He opted to start the nonprofit because he was tired of the poor choices offered to kids in the district cafeterias. Ziems said, "It is possible to do vegan lunches that are very good tasting and much healthier for kids and the planet."

One Ashland is run by volunteers and they are pursuing aid and food donations from businesses, individuals, and farms to keep the program going. And it looks like they are off to a strong start …

Ziems is working with Taran Smith, yes Mark Taylor of Home Improvement fame is back in the public vegan circuit. Taran seems to be reviving Playfood, a vegan food company that has been fraught with emotional turmoil over the years, and he owns a food truck that he will be donating for use in the One Ashland program next fall.

The program has also received vegetable donations from Ashland's Growers and Crafters Market Tuesday.

One Ashland did a trial run of their program at the end of this academic year, and it looks like a great success was born. About 40 students ordered lunch from the truck during their lunch hour, and the food received good reviews.

To learn more about One Ashland, visit

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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