Two years ago, the “Icon” music artist tapped into the power of paying it forward for his 21st birthday and brought a pop-up vegan food truck to Downtown Los Angeles that distributed free nutritious meals to individuals battling homelessness and food scarcity. His new venture is an extension of his I Love You Restaurant initiative; a movement designed to provide sustainable meal options for underserved communities. “Our mission is to spread love to communities experiencing food and or housing insecurity by offering water along with fresh, high-quality, and delicious sustainable meal options,” read a statement on the I Love You Restaurant’s website. “When the whole world helps, the whole world heals.” Smith says the I Love You Restaurant will also serve people who aren’t homeless if they “pay for more than the food’s worth” so they can pay for the person behind them. Details surrounding where the eatery will be located or when it will open have not been revealed yet.
The I Love You Restaurant is just one of Smith’s philanthropic projects. In 2019, through his company JUST Goods Inc., he led an initiative centered on bringing a water filtration system to Flint, Michigan. The company joined forces with Flint’s First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church to implement a system called “The Water Box” which helped reduce lead and other toxic chemicals in contaminated water.
In 2018, he led an effort to donate water each month to the city’s schools until the water was safe to drink. Thousands of bottles were donated. “I want to have something I can feel good about that I can feel like it’s changing the world. I’m not only being neutral with the world, I’m actually making the world a better place,” Smith said in an interview with Highsnobiety. “I’ve just always wanted to be an advocate of humanity.”