THE BLOG

How Free School Dinners Are Helping Access To Nutrition Across The Globe

31/10/2016 14:19

I am a real foodie, I love nothing more than spending time in my kitchen experimenting with flavour combinations to come up with delicious dishes for my family and friends. For me tasty, nutritious food is my passion and I can't imagine my life without access to it whenever and wherever I choose. But, for many around the world, this is not the case.

Millions of people across the globe don't have access to the basic nutrition needed for a balanced diet, let alone the luxury of enjoying three meals a day. Recent statistics have found that as many as 1 in 4 people around the world are missing out on the right vitamins and minerals required to lead a healthy, active life.

That's why I am happy that, for the third year in a row, Knorr has chosen to celebrate World Food Day - an international day of taking action to improve global access to nutritious food for all - by pledging to donate the value of one million meals through our global partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP).

Over the last three years, we have been working with, and raising funds for, WFP - the largest humanitarian agency fighting food poverty - to provide nutritious school meals to children all over the world. As a result, they've been able to ensure that thousands of children get at least one delicious and nutritious meal every day so they can concentrate on learning and gaining skills to improve their future.

Sadly, for many of these children, the one free meal they receive at school will be the only nutritious meal they receive that day - giving their parents an added incentive to ensure their children attend their classes. But while the donations are invaluable, one wholesome meal is still not good enough and there's a great deal to be done.

I first realised the importance of providing everyone with the tools and skills to unlock more goodness from everyday food during one of my visits to Nigeria for Knorr's Green Food Steps campaign. An in-school and at-home behaviour change programme currently in Nigeria, it is helping families learn how to cook meals with more iron by using our own fortified products and other iron-rich ingredients such as spinach leaves. Anaemia affects one in every two women in Nigeria, with half of these cases caused by an iron deficiency. Our work aims to reach out to both the cooks of today and tomorrow to show them how to cook tasty and nutritious meals at home can make a massive difference.

I believe that brands such as Knorr have a responsibility to use their scale to help address global issues such as food security and nutrition.

That's why we backed up our pledge to donate a million nutritious meals with an innovative social campaign - #ShareAMeal - that uses the universal language of emoji to grab the attention of younger people and make a critical global issue relevant and shareable.

They are a generation of foodies who we know are thinking about - and photographing - food all the time. So we've captured this passion and channelled it into a campaign that is fun and easy to take part in; encouraging everyone to share a meal locally. I cannot think of anything more important that ensuring that everyone - no matter where you live - has access to nutritious food. It's one of life's joys and the most basic of human needs.

I'm proud of the part that we are able to play in making this ambition a reality.

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