An interview with: Ana Catalina Suarez, Latin America Regional Director, The Global FoodBanking Network
In October 2018, Kellogg Company launched a Global Food Drive in honor of World Food Day. Through the company’s global signature cause platform, Breakfasts for Better Days™, and in partnership with The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), Kellogg donated 4.2 million servings of food to feed people in need in 26 countries, benefitting 72 food banks around the world.
Recently, Kellogg sat down with Ana Catalina Suarez, Latin American Regional Director for The Global FoodBanking Network, to talk about the power of partnership and the impact the Kellogg Global Food Drive has had for people and communities in need.
Q: Tell us how the Global Food Drive for World Food Day came about.
A: Kellogg and The Global FoodBanking Network have had a long-standing partnership for more than a decade. As one of the founding partners of GFN, Kellogg contributed financially to support food bank development projects in Mexico, Guatemala and South Africa. Our organizations work together regularly to identify ways to advance our shared mission of ending hunger. As World Food Day is a key moment in time for both of our organizations to elevate the issue of food security, we decided to use our combined reach and scale to not only get more food, but the right foods to people in need to make the greatest impact.
Q: How did you do it and what was the impact?
A: Using GFN’s global network, we surveyed food banks in 26 countries to identify the foods that families facing hunger need most. Armed with that data, Kellogg mobilized teams to hold employee-led food drives, encouraging people to donate the much-needed foods to food banks globally. Through these efforts, Kellogg exceeded its goal by collecting 4.2 million servings of food, which benefitted more than 72 food banks around the world.
Q: We know that hunger and chronic undernourishment continues to rise around the world. What does hunger look like for communities in Latin America?
A: The issue of hunger and undernourishment in Latin America and the Caribbean is significant. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately 39.3 million people in the region are affected by hunger and the number of undernourished people has doubled year over year since 20151. This is simply unacceptable. We can and must change this trajectory. Our future depends on it.
Q: What impact did the Global Food Drive have on communities in need in Latin America?
A: In Latin America, where GFN is continuing to expand its footprint, I am proud to say that we made an especially strong impact. Of the total amount collected through the global food drive in celebration of World Food Day, a little more than 3 million servings of food was collected/donated and delivered to food banks in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama.
Q: Why was this food drive so successful? What made it different from other food drives in the past?
A: What set this food drive apart was our ability to execute globally and the sheer passion of our volunteers. More than a thousand people from around the world generously volunteered more than 2500 hours of their time to help make this program a success. It was really inspiring to see first-hand the commitment and dedication that Kellogg employees demonstrate for giving back to people and communities. It’s evident that they are living their values and leading with purpose. In Brazil, for example, Kellogg employees engaged consumers and colleagues outside of their offices to generate excitement in the community about the food drive. Additionally, employees from around the region joined several volunteering events where they helped with the main activities, including collecting fruits and vegetables and providing breakfast for people in need. It’s amazing to see the great impact we can generate when working together!
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: We are thrilled with the results of this initiative. This work is truly ¡es gratificante! I look forward to continuing the conversation and working with Kellogg on other initiatives to help provide a world where everyone has access to nutritious food so we can help end hunger for good.
Kellogg’s Heart and Soul strategy, which comes to life through Breakfasts for Better Days, is integral to the company’s Deploy for Growth business strategy. Through the platform, the company is driving transformational change by addressing the worldwide issue of food security through food donations, supporting farmers with climate-smart agriculture practices, nutrition education programs, volunteerism and engaging people in our journey. For more information about how Kellogg’s World Food Day efforts helped to make a difference, visit OpenForBreakfast.com.
1 FAO: “Inequality exacerbates hunger, malnutrition and obesity in Latin America and the Caribbean.” http://www.fao.org/americas/noticias/ver/en/c/1161235/