Jaden Smith drops new album AND opens pop-up food truck for L.A. homeless
Jaden Smith is quite possibly the busiest 21-year-old right now.
In the midst of planning to hit the road with friend and fellow artist Tyler, the Creator for the IGOR tour (which will include stops in Miami, Houston, New York City, and Atlanta), Smith somehow found time to not only drop a new album but also announced that he has taken on yet another philanthropic effort, this time dealing with homelessness in Los Angeles.
After dropping his new album ERYS over the Fourth of July holiday and releasing the aforementioned album’s lead single “Again,” Smith announced on social media two days later that he would be unveiling a free vegan pop-up food truck he so lovingly named “I Love You Restaurant.” The purpose of the food service truck is to bring free vegan food to the people of Los Angeles’ Skid Row, one of the largest homeless communities in the country. And while homelessness remains a nationwide issue, the issue is of particular note to a city like L.A., with it being the home of the affluent Hollywood.
Smith, seemingly having recognized the seriousness of the situation, is now doing his part to help.
“The @ILoveYouRestaurant Is A Movement That Is All About Giving People What They Deserve, Healthy, Vegan Food For Free,” he explained in a post on Instagram. “Today We Launched Our First One Day Food Truck Pop-Up in Downtown LA. Keep A Look Out Because This Is The First Of Many #JADENinc”
This is not the first time Smith has turned his platform, power, and affluence toward social issues and causes.
Smith garnered praise back in March when he and his foundation, JUST goods, launched The Water Box — a mobile water filtration system — in conjunction with Flint, Michigan’s First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church and to bring clean water to that city, which has suffered from gross water contamination since 2014. The system reportedly aims to “reduce heavy metals like lead, and eliminate harmful bacteria from the water” while “producing ten gallons a minute.” Smith then upped the ante — and exposure to this cause — by surprising Ellen on her show with the second Water Box he made and donated it in her name.
And prior to organized efforts like his “I Love You Restaurant” and The Water Box, Smith was honored back in 2016 at Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood event and talked at length then about why he was focused on helping people through the environment.
“My name is Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, and the way that I like to give back to the world is through the environment, because the way that the earth is going now… it is taking us to a breaking point where we almost might not be able to survive,” he told the crowd.
At that same event, he went on to show off a prototype of a sustainable water bottle that he plans to bring to fruition one day — most likely through the continued efforts of JUST goods and 501CThree.
People need to look no further than the young star’s own parents — Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith — to see where he gets his generous spirit.
Pinkett Smith, who received the Trailblazer Award at this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awardsfor her own philanthropic and media-related advocacy related to mental health, sex education, and more, spoke to PEOPLE in January and explained that she and husband Will raised their children — including Jaden — to be disciplined workers and big givers in spite of their affluence.
“There’s two things with my kids that I think really worked well,” Pinkett Smith told PEOPLE. “As much as people got on me in regards to having them work early, I did not want them to grow up thinking that because they were in the midst of affluence that they did not have to grind or work hard on their own.”
She continued, “These hours, this work ethic, you have to be on time. I think also they had to start their charity lifestyle very early, [at] 5 years old they were in the orphanages at homeless shelters.”
“They got to see that there’s life beyond all the twinkles and lights. That was really important to me, that they understood that listen you guys are really privileged and you are to learn how to offer and offer yourself and be in service to the world,” she added. “I think Will and I always led with that.”