We had the good fortune of connecting with Donnell Farrar and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Donnell, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
As a child, my uncle would pay me and my brother for doing certain tasks for him and after a while you connect the dots – If I provide a product or service to this person, they may be willing to pay me for it if it’s worth their time or money. Before my uncle knew it, my brother and I began making music and trying to sell it and coming up with our own cleaning services where we washed clothes, shoes, and cars and more – all to make money. My uncle explained to us that we were mini entrepreneurs and encouraged us any time we had a “new endeavor.” We even had our own business cards, but since I was a kid, I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur.

However, now that I’ve gotten older and can see the world through a new lense, my passions have evolved. I no longer want to just make money, I want to guide and help people.

So I had to draft a plan and follow through. I had to ask myself – What was an issue I’ve always been impassioned about and what was a logical solution that I could provide? That’s when Grab A Plate came to life. I have always felt the conditions of those lacking stable, safe and adequate food, shelter & housing is a state of emergency that many of us disregard and bypass until it effects us or a there are too many tents on the beach. Grab A Plate’s mission speaks to what we stand for – we as an organization are working to eradicate homelessness, while refining the way poverty is viewed in America, one plate at a time.

Musically however, my evolution to artist management happened effortlessly and gradually over time. I was hand picked by our label to represent each of my artists because I’ve always been able to see the big picture when it comes to long & short term goals and have the ability to keep things running smoothly even when we’re experiencing turbulence. I’ve overseen the label for years and naturally fell into the role of the team architect – being the gatekeeper for all things OGB.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Grab A Plate is a non-profit organization with a mission to improve the lives of those who are low income or homeless in the city of Los Angeles through in-house, locally supported programs that provide fresh meals, clothing, work opportunities and ultimately, the ability for those who receive assistance to transition to full-time employment with stable housing.

We thrive as a non-profit because we take a non-conventional approach when assisting those who need it: we regard each individual as a person and as family, instead of treating them as if they are “less than,” or a random person off the street. Each of them have a story, a circumstance or trial they are looking to overcome and Grab A Plate just wants to be a vehicle for change while they undergo that process. As opposed to making those we assist feel helpless, we reaffirm their ability to succeed, overcome and develop as all of us do. Where we all are now is not our final destination, and I want each family or individual we encounter to understand that as well.

Yes, we distribute food, clothing and any other tangible resources that we can, however the work doesn’t stop there. The goal is to ensure that those we encounter are directed to the right resources, whether that lies with Grab A Plate, or another organization that better aligns with their goals or current situation. I’ve had to learn that I can’t always help every person in the way they may need, but I do my best to ensure that they are directed someplace they can. I feel that God put me here to be a support to others, and it is truly a gift, and regardless of my current or future aspirations, my passions will always lie with Grab A Plate. Every time I get an excited greeting or a DM from one of our family members about how they are doing, it brings me a feeling that can’t be explained. I’m just overwhelmed with joy that I get to be apart of their narrative. I just hope that when they share their experience, they don’t feel shame or prideful about where they came from, but excited about where they’re going. Maybe they will join us at Grab A Plate, and become a resource to others as we were to them.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s so many places in LA that we could have great time so it would definitely depend on the person. Any given day, I’m at the studio with the OGB Music Group, managing my artists or on the ground for Grab A Plate. I would take them to the studio with me so that they can get an idea of what it’s like to network with a variety of local artists and creatives from all over Los Angeles.

I would also take them along with me on my pick up at the Los Angeles Regional food bank to see the inner workings of what we at Grab A Plate do – where the food we provide our family members comes from and witness the joint efforts of a variety of organizations, working in tandem to feed those that are low income and homeless. It’s a beautiful sight to see and an underrated feature of this beautiful city.

When it’s time to take a break and eat, there’s so many places you can go, but here are some of my favorites:

King Taco
Peppers Jamaican Cuisine off Slauson and Van Ness
Dave’s Hot Chicken
Earle’s Grill in Leimert Park

When it’s time to work out:

Dorsey (Rancho) to run a mile on the track
LA Fitness to weight training; play basketball; sauna

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
God – cant give anyone more credit than I can give God. When I was high and when I was low, he was there when the people I wanted there most, weren’t.

Website: https://grabaplatesocal.com/

Instagram: @teamsweeze; @grabaplatetoday

Image Credits
Zakiyah Webster – WebStar Productions

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