Largest US chocolate maker to provide healthy snack to West Africa

Posted on 28 Oct 2015 by Tim Brown

The Hershey Company, the largest chocolate maker in the US, has launched a new project called Nourishing Minds that will help provide children in the US and abroad with the basic nutrition.

According to sources quoted by Hershey, in the US, 15 million children struggle with hunger while more than 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, including 23 million in Africa.

By using its expertise in food production and making great tasting snacks, the Hershey Nourishing Minds project will feed children in need with goal to nourish one million minds by 2020.

In the US, Hershey is partnering with Feeding America and its child nutrition programs, including The Backpack Program, which provides backpacks full of food for children in need to take home over the weekend, as well as the School Pantry and Kids Cafe programs. Hershey is supporting Feeding America member food banks in six cities across America this year, with plans to grow the partnership over time.

“Children should not have to worry about where they will find their next meal. Yet, one in five struggle with hunger in America,” said Nancy Curby, vice president of corporate partnerships at Feeding America. “With Hershey’s support, we are able to provide more meals to children in need, which is critical to their growth and development.”

Nourishing Minds in Ghana

This month, Hershey has also marked the beginning of its global commitment to the Nourishing Minds project with events in Ghana, West Africa.

Hershey is partnering with the Ghana School Feeding Programme and Project Peanut Butter for Energize Learning, the flagship Nourishing Minds program in West Africa. The program aims to improve nutrition for students, to increase school enrollment, attendance and retention and to boost domestic food production. A cross-functional team of Hershey employees developed Vivi, a vitamin and mineral-fortified nutritional supplement that will be distributed to 50,000 Ghanaian school children by 2016 through Energize Learning.

“In working with Hershey, we are now able to provide children in school with a locally produced, nutritious snack that helps give them the energy they need focus on their studies,” said Hon Seidu Paakuna Adamu, national coordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme. “Hershey is a valuable partner in helping us make sure that the children of Ghana reach their full potential.”

This week’s events build on Hershey’s Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action to promote sustainable nutrition in Ghana by improving peanut farming, announced on September 29.

Hershey will also train 7,500 Ghanaian farmers on improved agronomic practices, empowering them to supply local commercial markets with safe and high-quality peanuts. By 2018, Hershey will source 100% local peanuts for the production of Vivi.