Kellogg’s, Brakes and This Saves Lives on a mission to slash food waste and fight childhood hunger

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

No child should go hungry. PIc: GettyImages/theevening
No child should go hungry. PIc: GettyImages/theevening

Related tags Kellogg's Better Days Brakes This Saves Lives childhood hunger Malnutrition Food waste food banks coronavirus World food programme Action Against Hunger

Kellogg’s is on target in reducing its food loss and waste; UK foodservice supplier Brakes has joined Marcus Rushford's Child Food Poverty Task Force; and celebrity-founded snack brand This Saves Lives expands distribution to ensure life-saving nutrition gets into the hands of children suffering from severe malnutrition.

According to the United Nations World Food Programme, roughly one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted.

Although there is more than enough food is produced to feed the global population, this has a dire impact on the more than 690 million people who go to bed hungry each night.

Perpetuated by the pandemic, an estimated 14 million children under the age of five around the globe suffer from severe acute malnutrition, also known as severe wasting. Only 25% of them have access to lifesaving treatment, according to Action Against Hunger statistics.

Landfill versus feeding hungry people

“The number of people facing hunger is increasing significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic,”​ said Amy Senter, Kellogg Company chief sustainability officer.

“We’re helping to eradicate hunger, fight climate change and ensure there is enough nutritious food available for all by working across our supply chain to reduce waste from farm to family​.”

Committed to creating Better Days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030, the company has been able to reduce its total organic waste by 13.4% and total waste per pound of food produced by 5.7% over the past four years.

Furthermore, in 2019, just 1.1% of food handled across its manufacturing operations went unused globally, much of it finding its way instead to local food banks.

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought unique challenges to tackling food loss and waste, but we are laser focused on collectively achieving the SDG goal of zero hunger by the end of 2030,”​ added Senter.

  • In 2019, Kellogg partnered with the Mexico Food Bank Network to collect more than 35 million servings of fruits and vegetables to feed people facing hunger versus ending up in the landfill.
  • In the US, ‘perfectly imperfect’ apples, strawberries and other fruits are used for the filling in Nutri-Grain bars and Pop-Tarts.
  • In the UK, imperfect Corn Flakes are provided to Seven Brothers brewery to upcycle into a range of ales. A similar initiative has been launched with the Spanish brewery that makes Rosita beer using ‘ugly’ Choco Krispies.
  • Kellogg’s Postharvest Loss Reduction Programme provides training to Indian, Bangladeshi, South African, Thai and Filipino farmers on improved agriculture and storage practices. A three-year collaboration with ACDI/VOCA saw smallholder date farmers in Egypt reduced postharvest losses by 58%.
  • The breakfast cereal giant was one of the first companies to join Champions 12.3, a group comprising government, business, research and farming communities committed to cutting global food waste by 50% at retail and consumer level, and reducing losses along production and supply chains (including post-harvest losses) by 2030. 
  • It was among the 12 majors that signed up for the Consumer Goods Forum’s CEO-led Coalition of Action on Food Waste, which drives local reduction programmes by engaging key stakeholders in North America, Latin America, China and Japan.
  • Kellogg’s also joined the retailer-led 10x20x30 initiative committed to reducing loss by 50% by 2030 by adopting a ‘Target-Measure-Act’ approach.

Putting the brakes on child food poverty

UK foodservice supplier Brakes has joined the Child Food Poverty Task Force – formed by English professional footballer Marcus Rashford earlier this month – to identify a long-term solution to break the back of child food poverty in the UK.

“Child food poverty is a societal problem that Brakes passionately believes we need to address; so much so, that in 2015 we started our own charity, Meals & More, to help fund, educate and provide practical support to address the complex issues of child holiday hunger,”​ said Brakes CEO Hugo Mahoney.

Brakes’ Meals & More charity has, to-date, provided more than 500,000 meals for the nation’s most vulnerable children. It supports food provision at more than 150 clubs annually, which gives over  10,000 children the opportunity to take part in activities, enjoy healthy food and avoid the social isolation that often results from poverty.

“The Child Food Poverty Task Force has an incredibly important role to play in today’s very difficult climate, with many families struggling to put food on the table. We are ready to play our part in supporting the aims of the task force.”

In signing up to the Task Force, Brakes has committed to endorse three policy recommendations from the Government’s National Food Strategy:

  • Expansion of free school meals to every child from a household on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 1.5million 7-16-year-olds
  • Expansion of holiday provision (food and activities) to support all children on free school meals, reaching an additional 1.1million children
  • Increasing the value of the Healthy Start vouchers to £4.25 per week from £3.10 and expanding into all those on Universal Credit or equivalent, reaching an additional 290,000 pregnant women and children under the age of four.

“There is such power in us all standing together and I’m very proud that I stand with influential voices and platforms who are committed to changing the lives of millions of children in the UK,”​ said Rashford.

“No one wants to see a child going hungry and the time for change is now.”

Every child deserves the opportunity to thrive

This Saves Lives – a brand on a mission to end childhood malnutrition – is rolling out its best-selling snacks in 81 HEB stores across Texas, US, this month.

The brand was launched in June 2013 by celebrity co-founders Kristen Bell, Ryan Devlin, Todd Grinnell, and Ravi Patel with the belief that all children, no matter their circumstances, deserve the opportunity to thrive.

With every This Saves Lives purchase, the brand – in partnership with Action Against Hunger – provides Plumpy’Nut to children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

The life-saving snack is a peanut-based paste that supports rapid weight gain to alleviate a starving child from impending illness or death. The product – manufactured by French copyright owner Nutriset – is easy for children to eat because it dispenses readily from a durable, tear-open package.

The company has already given over 23 million packets of Plumpy’Nut to kids in need around the world.

The retailer will stock the full collection (14) of the brand’s non-GMO and gluten free Classic Bars, Kids Snack Bars, and Kids Krispy Kritter Treats – the largest that This Saves Lives has ever sold at a single retailer. Instore promotions are accompanying the roll out.

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