FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORTHFIELD, IL (September 13, 2010) —
Kraft Foods today launched a worldwide initiative to celebrate play and fight world hunger. Through an app on Kraft Foods’ corporate Facebook site, the company is encouraging consumers to upload photos of people at play. And for each photo provided, Kraft Foods will donate five meals (up to 500,000) to the United Nations World Food Programme’s Fill the Cup campaign, which aims to feed more than 20 million children around the world who go to school hungry every day.
“While play and hunger may seem unrelated, there’s a remarkable overlap between food deserts and play deserts,” said Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO. “Access to wholesome foods and safe places to play are necessary for a child’s healthy development. This is why we’ve been at the forefront of fighting hunger and promoting healthy and active lifestyles for more than a quarter century.
“Through our new Facebook site, we want to create a snapshot of the world at play,” Rosenfeld said. “With a few clicks, people can fight hunger by contributing to our photo mosaic that captures the joy that comes from play.”
This “playful” initiative introduces Kraft Foods’ annual global week of service – Delicious Difference Week. From Oct. 4-9, approximately 14,000 Kraft Foods employees in 50 countries around the world will volunteer time to hunger relief and healthy lifestyles service projects in their communities. Together with Cadbury colleagues for the first time, Kraft Foods is mobilizing more volunteers in more communities for much more impact. Delicious Difference Week 2010 will be the largest employee volunteer event in the company’s history. This includes about 1,500 employees in the United States, who will build more than a dozen playgrounds with the national nonprofit group KaBOOM! in eight states. The playgrounds will serve nearly 100,000 children.
In addition to the commitment to build playgrounds across the country, Kraft Foods Foundation becomes an official National Partner of KaBOOM!. As a National Partner, Kraft Foods Foundation supports KaBOOM! in its efforts to spread the message that play is critical to the development of children and to facilitate the ongoing development of tools and resources to ensure that children in communities have access to a great place to play within walking distance of their homes. Kraft Foods Foundation will serve alongside KaBOOM! as a national proponent of the importance of play and will assist in creating solutions to address the play deficit currently existing in thousands of communities nationwide.
“Kraft Foods is a wonderful corporate partner and has helped significantly bring fun and safe play places to countless kids across the United States,” said Darell Hammond, the CEO and Co-Founder of KaBOOM!. Kraft Foods, through its Kool-Aid and Oscar Mayer brands, has built 33 playgrounds in the United States with KaBOOM! since 2007.
“We’re thrilled at a partnership that will provide us with a greater platform to talk about the importance of play while partnering with the World Food Programme to fight hunger and malnutrition,” Hammond said. “At KaBOOM!, we believe play is a fundamental right, and that kids who are hungry or food insecure cannot play and cannot learn. Just as all children must have access to healthy food, they must also have access to unstructured play for their mental, emotional and physical development. A healthy and active life should be the right of every child, everywhere.”
“Hunger and malnutrition are the biggest threats to global health today,” said Monica Marshall, Head of Global Private Partnerships at the United Nations World Food Programme. “Hunger robs a child even of the energy to laugh and play, and malnutrition early on in life can have irreversible effects on a child’s physical and mental development. Investing in children means investing in the future, and everyone can make a difference in the fight against hunger. We’re excited about this new initiative, because we depend on the generosity of companies like Kraft Foods, but also because we need to engage new audiences and new communities around hunger-related issues.”
Kraft Foods has been a supporter of the World Food Programme for more than 15 years, supporting its school feeding programs in Ethiopia and most recently as a chief collaborator in Project Laser Beam, a public-private partnership to eradicate child malnutrition, starting in Bangladesh and Indonesia.
About Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods is building a global snacks powerhouse and an unrivaled portfolio of brands people love. With annual revenues of approximately $48 billion, the company is the world’s second largest food company, making delicious products for billions of consumers in approximately 170 countries. The portfolio includes 11 iconic brands with revenues exceeding $1 billion – Oreo, Nabisco and LU biscuits; Milka and Cadbury chocolates; Trident gum; Jacobs and Maxwell House coffees; Philadelphia cream cheeses; Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings; and Oscar Mayer meats. Approximately 70 brands generate annual revenues of more than $100 million. Kraft Foods (www.kraftfoodscompany.com; NYSE: KFT) is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index.
Kraft Foods and the Kraft Foods Foundation have donated nearly $1 billion in cash and food to hunger-relief organizations over the past 25 years. Through support of partners including Save the Children, Feeding America and CARE, the company and Foundation support programs in 46 countries and on almost every continent.
About the World Food Programme
The World Food Programme (www.wfp.org) is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In emergencies, the WFP gets food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, the WFP uses food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives. WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded. Born in 1962, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. The WFP works toward that vision with other UN agencies in Rome -- the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) -- as well as other government, U.N. and NGO partners.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters, visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.