I mentioned in some of my previous posts that I have spent most of my career working for the United Nations. My last six years in the UN were spent working for the World Food Programme (WFP) - the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.
Unlike many other scourges, hunger is something that is familiar and palpable to all of us as we feel it several times during the day - the difference between you and someone who is chronically hungry is the access to adequate food and nutrition. This terrible problem has been shamefully omnipresent since time immemorial. These days one in seven people in the world is chronically hungry, while one in four children is malnourished - giving WFP plenty of work to do.
WFP is voluntarily funded, but given the number of competing issues affecting the global community, the organization has had to be very creative in ways in which it mobilizes resources to do its work. One such initiative very dear to my heart (not only because it is fashion related) is FEED.
FEED began in 2006 when model and activist Lauren Bush designed a bag to benefit WFP's School Feeding program. As a WFP Honorary Student Spokesperson, Lauren visited countries around the world in Asia, Latin America, and Africa where WFP is operating and was inspired by the plight of the people she met on her travels. She took a special interest in WFP's School Feeding program, which feeds and educates hungry children. She first created the FEED 1 bag, a reversible burlap and organic cotton bag reminiscent of the bags of food distributed by WFP, to help raise funds and awareness around these school feeding operations. It was stamped with "FEED the children of the world" and the number ‘1’ to signify that each bag feeds one child in school for one year. And in 2007, FEED Projects LLC was founded by Lauren Bush and Ellen Gustafson to produce and sell these bags.
Recently, FEED announced a special collaboration with Tory Burch and Holt Renfrew whereby FEED bags designed by Burch would be sold at Holt Renfrew locations across Canada to help reach the goal of raising $100,000 for the FEED Foundation and the Tory Burch Foundation. The bags will be available on May 10 and I could not encourage you more to get them.