General Mills Foundation Partners with World Food Program USA to Expand Support of School Meals in India

March 25, 2019

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.”

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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.