Fortifying Futures for Children in India

Photo: General Mills
Published May 29, 2019

In India, a country with more than 1.2 billion people, one in every three children is malnourished.

If you do the math, that’s 46 million kids exhibiting symptoms of malnourishment, such as anemia and stunted growth.

We’re working to reduce these numbers and help kids in India through our philanthropy at General Mills. And we know school meals are one of the most effective ways to ensure children have a healthy start to life.

A cook holds rice fortified with vitamins and minerals – like iron, zinc and vitamin A.

By supporting pilot programs with World Food Programme (WFP) in India, 420,000 students receive a mid-day school meal fortified with vitamins and minerals – including iron, zinc and vitamin A – helping prevent deficiencies that can lead to illness, infection and even blindness.

Learn about the program in this video (which you can also view below).

“We were thrilled with the success of the pilot programs and have renewed our commitment with WFP to help take the school meals fortification program to scale throughout these states,” says Louise Iverson, senior program manager at the General Mills Foundation. “It is our goal that someday, all children can be well-nourished and ready to thrive.”

Photo: General Mills

General Mills has supported WFP pilot programs, first in Dhenkanal, Odisha and later in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, reaching a total of 420,000 children with a nourishing school meal daily across these two districts.

General Mills’ support will enable WFP to scale up to reach nearly 2 million children in Odisha alone.

Photo: General Mills

Students in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, and Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, receive a midday school meal that is fortified with vitamins and minerals – like iron, zinc and vitamin A.

“Investing in our children is one of the smartest decisions we can make,” says Rick Leach, president and CEO of World Food Program USA. “Thanks to the expertise and dedication of companies like General Mills, children in need will receive the nutrition and education they need to break the cycle of poverty and hunger.”

Together, we can solve hunger and malnutrition for kids in India and across the world.

*This post originally appeared on General Mills’ blog, Taste of General Mills