Washington, D.C. (November 10, 2020) — World Food Program USA partner General Mills has announced a $750,000 two-year grant, extending its support for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)’s school feeding programs in India and China. In India, the grant will support new pilot programs to strengthen the nutritional effectiveness of the Mid-Day Meal Program, and in China, will support the Preschool Nutrition Improvement Pilot Project in Hunan and Guangxi.
“We know that nutritious school meals are more than just food; they are an investment in a child’s future,” said Barron Segar, President and CEO, World Food Program USA. “We are grateful to General Mills for their continued support and dedication to ensuring all children have the nutrition they need to thrive.”
In India, the pilot will test innovative and sustainable solutions for enhancing program capacity and addressing micronutrient deficiencies of the mid-day meal. School nutri-gardens will be established to provide fresh produce, enhance nutritional value of meals, and provide gardening experience and nutrition education to children. To increase food safety and hygiene awareness among school cooks, the U.N. World Food Programme has developed an educational training app for cooks, which includes a dashboard for government stakeholders to monitor utilization. The program will also implement nutrition education in schools focused on personal hygiene, nutrition best practices, and how to prevent and respond to micronutrient deficiencies.
“We are inspired by the success of our partnership with the U.N. World Food Programme in India and China, and feel strongly that renewing our commitment will help to ensure that more children are nourished and ready to learn through school feeding programs,” said Nicola Dixon, Executive Director of the General Mills Foundation. “At General Mills, we believe in the power of food to break the cycle of poverty and hunger, and these pilot programs will advance these important efforts.”
Due to COVID-19’s impact on food insecurity and malnutrition, the U.N. World Food Programme is extending its nutrition programming in China. The Preschool Nutrition Improvement Pilot will reach 2,750 preschool children and aims to increase the nutritional value of preschool meals with local and seasonal ingredients, as well as a milk supplement. Additionally, the program will include training workshops for students, teachers, cooking staff, and parents, as well as support of small-scale farmers with technical training, expanding access to markets, and increasing their participation in the homegrown school meal program by 30 percent. This pilot fills the gap between the Chinese government’s maternal and infant nutrition programs and the national school meal program that focuses on primary school students.
General Mills’ first grant in 2017 enabled a pilot program with local partners in the Indian state of Odisha, where a large proportion of youth are severely malnourished. More than 137,000 schoolchildren there received micronutrient-fortified mid-day meals. In 2018, General Mills expanded its support with a similar pilot in Uttar Pradesh which reached 290,000 children with micronutrient fortified school meals. In 2019, following the pilot programs’ success, General Mills allocated a second grant for $500,000 to scale-up school feeding programs throughout Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, as well as a pilot program in China for rural, malnourished preschool students.
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About World Food Program USA | World Food Program USA is the recognized leader in America’s pursuit to end global hunger, inspiring citizens to do everything in their power to create a zero-hunger world. We work with U.S. policymakers, corporations, foundations and individuals to generate financial and in-kind resources for the United Nations World Food Programme, 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, to feed families in need around the world and to develop policies necessary to alleviate global hunger. To learn more about our mission, please visit us at www.wfpusa.org.
About General Mills | General Mills is a leading global food company that serves the world by making food people love. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie’s, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, Blue and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2018 proforma net sales of U.S. $17.0 billion, including $1.3 billion from Blue Buffalo. In addition, General Mills’ share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.1 billion. For more information, visit GeneralMills.com and follow our A Taste of General Mills blog.
World Food Program USA Announces Fall 2020 Grantees of the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund
WASHINGTON, DC (October 16, 2020) – World Food Program USA names two new grantees of the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education, which aims to end inequality that drives hunger by empowering women and girls with the knowledge, training and leaderships skills they need for personal and economic success. Her Future Coalition and Speak Up for the Poor will receive grants to expand their programs and make an even greater impact on the lives of the women and girls they serve. Women and girls make up the majority of the world’s hungry people, largely because they have unequal access to education and resources. The socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 are pushing millions more into food insecurity.
Her Future Coalition
Located in India, Her Future Coalition aims to provide positive change in the lives of girls who have survived, or are at high risk of, gender-based violence. It provides education, training, safe shelter and a supportive community in efforts to break the cycle of poverty by enabling girls to reach a self-sufficient future.
When it began in 2005, Her Future Coalition focused solely on supporting survivors of human trafficking. It has since broadened its scope of work to include girls suffering from all types of gender-based violence. The nonprofit serves girls through shelters in vulnerable areas of Mumbai and Kolkata, and recently launched three Red Light Resource Centers that provide childcare to mothers who work in parts of the city known as red-light areas.
With the grant from the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund, Her Future Coalition will launch a new project in Kolkata aimed at reaching girls in the city’s red-light areas and beyond. The project will offer the girls computer training, intensive English instruction, and entrepreneurship and business skills training.
“This grant could not have come at a better time,” says Sarah Symons, Her Future Coalition founder and executive director. “It will allow us to provide computer training to hundreds of girls in red-light areas, slums and rescue shelters of Kolkata, and it is more critical than ever for these girls to be able to continue their education and build a future. The project will enable survivors and girls at high risk for gender violence to permanently break the cycle of poverty and exploitation.”
Speak Up for the Poor
Speak Up for the Poor (Speak Up) is a nonprofit in Bangladesh that aims to create a new reality for girls in poverty by transforming them into empowered community leaders.
As part of its mission, Speak Up launched its Girls Education Program (GEP) in 2012 to help keep girls in school and break the cycle of poverty. It now provides 1,405 girls in 30 villages across Khulna Division, Bangladesh, with life-changing education.
Keeping girls in school is critical everywhere, but it is especially critical in Bangladesh where nearly 60 percent of girls are forced into illegal child marriages. When girls marry young and have children, they are less likely to stay in school.
Thanks to the grant from the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund, Speak Up will launch The Parent Meetings, a project designed to educate the parents of girls on the value of keeping girls in school and out of child marriages. Through the project, Speak Up will hold monthly community meetings in the local villages where GEP operates. The grant will also enable Speak Up to expand its GEP program.
“Speak Up for the Poor is honored and grateful to receive a grant from the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education,” said Troy Anderson, Speak Up founder and international director. “With this funding, we will continue to educate hundreds of parents in rural Bangladesh on the importance of keeping their daughters in school. Educating and empowering girls in poverty is the best investment we can make in our global future – and Speak Up is thrilled to have the support of the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund as we continue this important work.”
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About World Food Program USA
World Food Program USA (WFP USA) is the recognized leader in America’s pursuit to end global hunger, inspiring citizens to do everything in their power to create a zero-hunger world. We work with U.S. policymakers, corporations, foundations and individuals to generate financial and in-kind resources for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to feed families in need around the world and to develop policies necessary to alleviate global hunger. To learn more about our mission, please visit us at www.wfpusa.org.
About the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education
After winning the World Food Prize in 2003, Catherine Bertini, the former executive director for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), recognized an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for women’s empowerment. Bertini used her winnings to establish the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education, a fund that supports innovative grassroots initiatives around the globe that boost access to training and educational opportunities for girls.
Toula Athas, Director, Communications, World Food Program USA
Washington, D.C./Minneapolis, Minn.— The General Mills Foundation recently announced a continuation of support of its malnutrition prevention efforts through nutritional fortification in India’s mid-day school meals program.
For the past two years, General Mills has been supporting World Food Programme’s (WFP) work with local partners in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, where a large proportion of youth exhibit symptoms from malnourishment, including anemia, wasting and stunting. The initial grant from General Mills enabled WFP to implement a pilot program that fortified school meals with micronutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin A to more than 137,000 schoolchildren across the state via mid-day meals. General Mills’ grant to WFP has also supported a similar pilot in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh which is reaching 290,000 children with micronutrient fortified school meals.
The success of the pilot programs inspired General Mills to renew its commitment and provide WFP with a second grant totaling $500,000 to help take the school meals fortification program to scale throughout these states.
“Adding essential micronutrients to school meals in India, where rates of childhood malnutrition are often extreme, is a powerful way to help ensure that children are well-nourished,” said Nicola Dixon, executive director of the General Mills Foundation. “We are pleased to continue to support World Food Programme in this vital effort,” Dixon said.
In addition to social gains, investing in school meals improves economic outcomes as well. Having proper nutrition can help people in developing markets increase their lifetime earnings by 46 percent. Studies have shown that a dollar invested in hunger prevention returns $15 to $139 in benefits.
“Supporting school meals is one of the greatest investments we can make,” said Rick Leach, WFP USA CEO. “It gives both children and the community a greater opportunity to reach their full potential. We are extremely grateful to partners like General Mills, who are dedicated to ensuring all children have the nutrition they need to break the cycle of disadvantage and lead better lives.”
About World Food Program USA
World Food Program USA is a 501(c)(3) charity that proudly supports the mission of the World Food Programme, the leading humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, WFP reaches more than 91 million people with lifesaving food assistance in 83 countries across the globe. By mobilizing individuals, lawmakers and businesses in the U.S. to advance the global movement to end hunger, World Food Program USA bolsters an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world.
About General Mills
General Mills is a leading global food company that serves the world by making food people love. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie’s, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, Blue and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2018 proforma net sales of U.S. $17.0 billion, including $1.3 billion from Blue Buffalo. In addition, General Mills’ share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.1 billion. For more information, visit GeneralMills.com and follow our A Taste of General Mills blog.