NBA All-Star Chris Paul is currently a student at an HBCU, Winston-Salem State University.
The Phoenix Suns guard’s non-profit — Chris Paul Family Foundation — recently contributed a vegan vending machine to the university. It also donated 100 vegan burgers at a recent WSSU basketball game.
Paul is an adapter of the plant-based lifestyle and an investor in Koia vending machines.
“For me, it was such a drastic change because I’m from the south. 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 tells (Forbes) the Culture.
WSSU is the first HBCU to get the machine, but it won’t be the last.
“First and foremost, they have to be introduced. To go on to these college campuses and to try to educate kids is a great place to start. The younger someone is exposed to plant-based options, the better, he said. I didn’t learn any of this until I was 33, 34. But better late than never.”
In addition to the HBCU program, Paul has made a commitment to purchasing 50,000 bottles of Koia Straw-nana Dream Smoothie, the best-selling flavor of Koia’s newest and most successful innovation line, for GoPuff customers nationally. Paul has an investment and partnership with GoPuff and Koia is currently the top-selling better-for-you beverage sold on the platform. This three-way partnership between Paul, Koia and GoPuff is an example of how celebrities and brands can collaborate to affect meaningful change in the food and beverage industry.