The food companies committed to fighting world hunger

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Everyone needs to participate in the fight against world hunger. Pic: ©GettyImages/gelmold
Everyone needs to participate in the fight against world hunger. Pic: ©GettyImages/gelmold

Related tags: United nations, hunger, Malnutrition, Panera bread, Campbell Snacks, Grupo bimbo, Poverty, World food programme

World hunger remains a persistent crisis, with approximately 842 million people going hungry every day. We look at the bakery and snack giants that are leading the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

One of nine people in the world goes to bed hungry, according to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

According to the USDA, over 49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table.

Approximately nine million people die of world hunger each year, according to humanitarian aid organization Mercy Corps: That is more than the death toll for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger.

Reports do not paint a very pretty picture, however, the call is being answered, and some of the world’s biggest food conglomerates have rallied into action to fight world hunger and malnutrition.

“If you want to eliminate hunger, everybody has to be involved.”​ – Bono, lead vocalist of U2

Here are a few examples:

Kellogg’s

Kellogg’s launched Breakfast for Better Days to fight food insecurity in 2013. Through the initiative’s commitments, the company is helping to create three billion Better Days for people and communities by the end of 2025.

The breakfast cereal giant donates to food banks around the world and supports school breakfast programs, while its staff volunteer in community kitchens and gardens.

Kellogg’s has also collaborated with Feeding America and The Global FoodBanking Network to make it easier for people to fight hunger by donating the foods hungry families request most from food banks across the globe.

More recently, it launched its sixth annual ‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’ campaign, in association with Walmart, Sam's Club and Feeding America to encourage Americans to act in the fight against hunger.

General Mills

General Mills serves as a founding partner of Feeding America, the Global FoodBanking Network and Partners in Food Solutions, enabling more than 201 million meals through food donations globally since 2010.

The Cheerios maker has also partnered with MealConnect to recover and distribute more than 575 million pounds of surplus food in partnership with 90 food banks, facilitate more than 1.2 million food pickups and support more than 4,200 non-profit hunger relief organizations since 2014.

The company hosts the annual Feeding Better Futures Scholars Program, calling on young innovators across North America for solutions on hunger relief, food waste and sustainable agriculture.

PepsiCo

PepsiCo is a partner of the UN’s World Food Program (WFP), dedicated to reducing global hunger by offering food aid to developing countries in need. WFP has provided food for more than 90 million people.

World hunger statistics

More than 840 million people suffer from hunger worldwide – almost 12% of the world’s population of 7.1 billion people

98% of those live in developing countries – more than 550 million in Asia Pacific; over 220 million in Sub-Saharan Africa; and more than 40 million in Latin America/Caribbean.

The regions that have made the greatest progress towards ending world hunger have been Latin America and South-East Asia. Conversely, the number of hungry people in Sub-Saharan Africa rose from 176 million to over 220 million between 1992 and 2014.

India has the highest population of hungry people.

Approximately nine million people die of hunger each year, including 3.1 million children.

Malnutrition is a primary symptom of hunger.

Globally, 40% of preschool-age children are estimated to suffer from an iron deficiency, while every year, 200-500 thousand go blind from a vitamin A deficiency.

Malnutrition causes stunting (low height for a child’s age). In 2013, it was estimated that more than 160 million children under the age of five were stunted worldwide.

It also causes wasting (low weight for a child’s age). In 2013, it was estimated that more than 50 million children under the age of five were wasted.

Poverty is the number one cause of world hunger. The World Bank estimated that 10.7% of the world’s population, or 767 million people, lived on less than $1.90 per day in 2013.

The snack giant’s philanthropic arm, the PepsiCo Foundation, invested $3.5m in a public-private partnership with the WFP and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to produce a food product made of chickpeas to help treat malnutrition in Ethiopia.

Panera Bread

Panera Bread helps fight poverty by giving back to its communities through programs like the Day-End Dough-Nation, which donates $100m worth of retail goods annually to feed those in need.

At the end of each day, the company’s network of over 2,000 bakery-café fast casual restaurants across the US provide unsold bakery items to hunger relief agencies.

In 2010, the company’s non-profit foundation created Panera Cares, a pay-what-you-can line of restaurants – each site serving approximately 3,500 people every week. The last Panera Cares restaurant was closed at the beginning of this year, after the sandwich chain said the experiment aimed to combat hunger was ‘no longer viable.’

Campbell Soup

In 2011, Campbell unveiled its plan to reduce childhood obesity and hunger in Camden, New Jersey, Campbell's home since 1869. The company has committed a $10m investment over 10 years to halve childhood obesity and hunger in the town’s population of 23,000 children.

The company is also committed to fighting hunger around the world. For example, in 2016, it launched a pop-up Soup Exchange in Sydney to serve up 43,000 serving of soup. For every serving, Campbell donated soup to hunger relief charity Foodbank to fight Aussie hunger.

Nestlé

Nestlé’s annual ‘day of service’ initiative, Nestlé Cares, unites its eight operating companies in 47 US states to make a difference through more than 150 events.

Last year, the company expanded its 25-year partnership with Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the US. In the past five years, Nestlé has donated more than 100 million pounds of food and water to support more than 185 Feeding America food banks, including those in communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017.

The snacking giant also collaborates with SAVE FOOD, a group that works with the UN’s FAO, to create awareness and help prevent food loss. Its efforts include responsible sourcing and consumer education, as well as working with the World Resources Institute to develop a global standard to measure and evaluate food loss and waste in the food supply chain.

Grupo Bimbo

Together with Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo, Nestlé signed up with the #SinDesperdicio (Without Waste) platform – led by the Inter-American Development Bank – to fight food waste in the Latam region. Annually, more than 127m tons of food are wasted, while almost 42 million people in the region are acutely undernourished.

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