When Kellogg asked me to pen a blog to recognize and thank the volunteers who so generously give their time and resources to support our shared mission of fighting hunger and feeding people in need, I was more than eager. For me, the most rewarding feeling is knowing that through the collaboration of our two organizations, we are truly making a difference in the lives of people and communities around the world. We know this work cannot be done alone. That’s why it is critically important to United Way that we partner with organizations like Kellogg who can use their ‘super power’ to provide the global reach and engagement to make a real impact.
For more than 90 years, United Way has proudly partnered with Kellogg to co-create programs that directly support communities in need. These include volunteer events at local food banks, school breakfast programs, summer hunger and senior meal initiatives, cultivating community gardens, as well as our annual campaign drive. Our partnership has certainly evolved over the years and our programs are becoming even more enriching. Here are a few recent examples from our collaboration in the U.S.
United Against Food Deserts - In honor of World Environment Day this year, we partnered with Kellogg brands to cultivate community gardens in nine communities across the U.S. To make the biggest impact, we focused on food deserts, which are a low-income areas that are located more than one mile from a grocery store and don’t have access to fresh produce. Over 3,000 volunteers and community residents engaged in the program to provide fruits and vegetables to residents in need.
Summer Hunger programs – As six out of seven children who eat a free or reduced-price lunch at school don’t have access to the same nutritious meals during the summer, we partnered with Kellogg to support summer programs that provide free breakfasts and lunches to children and families in central Iowa, Dallas, the Seattle area and Sacramento, CA.
United to Be Kind - In honor of National Friendship Day, United Way of King County and United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region collaborated with Kellogg’s® Froot Loops® to promote anti-bullying, launching United to Be Kind as a part of their summer hunger programs. Attendees participated in activities and conversations that embrace uniqueness, individuality and friendship.
Meal Packing Events – This year, Kellogg sponsored three large-scale meal-packing events in Grand Rapids, Battle Creek and New Jersey that collectively drew more than 1,000 volunteers to pack an astounding 300,000 nutritious ready-to-cook meals.
In 2018, Kellogg Company and its U.S. employees pledged $4.4 million to United Way, with $2 million supporting United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region. We will begin allocating those funds in 2019 to support programs across the U.S. in areas that have the greatest need.
You can help too! Please visit United Way Worldwide to locate volunteer opportunities with your local United Way. Thank you again to Kellogg for your continued partnership and thank you to the hundreds of Kellogg volunteers around the world. Because when we work together, United We Win. #BetterDays