More than 300 Heinz employees in Pittsburgh will spend three hours Friday assembling meals to stop hunger in developing countries.
The multi-billion dollar company is partnered with Stop Hunger Now, a nonprofit food distribution company. Last year Stop Hunger Now distributed 41.9 million meals in 27 counties, and this year the Heinz Company plans to help the organization double that number; Heinz will provide 42 million meals on top of those from Stop Hunger Now.
Jenece Upton, the manager of H.J. Heinz Company Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Heinz, traveled to Nicaragua in March with the companies, “when we say something like 100,000 meal packages, sometimes it’s easy to just get caught up in the number and overlook every individual child who is benefiting from what we’re doing, and it was absolutely amazing to see.”
The meals are rice-based and also contain soy, dehydrated vegetables and a sachet containing 21 vitamins and nutrients. Heinz formulates, produces, and funds the shipping of the sachets which are included in every meal provided by Stop Hunger Now. Including these helps improve the nutritional content of the meals.
“When I was in Nicaragua they showed us a comparative study, and with the sachet it was tremendously more,” said Upton. “The malnutrition rate was reduced so much more by having the sachet included in the meal package.”
The Heinz Foundation has been working to fight hunger worldwide for 15 years.